BY ROMULUS HUTA
THE new Honiara Rugby Union Association (HRUA) president-elect Derek Pongi says one of his immediate priorities is to strengthen the association to move forward with its programs.
Pongi was voted in during a special general meeting on Monday to lead the association for the remainder of this current HRUA term which is expected to lapse toward the end of this year.
In an interview with SunSPORTS yesterday, Pongi said his immediate priorities are to strengthen HRUA in its affairs and work on improving the relationship with the national governing rugby body, Solomon Islands Rugby Union Federation (SIRUF), maintain good working relationship with affiliated clubs and other stakeholders to further develop rugby in Honiara.
Pongi said developing rugby in Honiara to newer heights is what his leadership will be about.
“First and foremost, I will be organising a meeting with my executive this week and hopefully invite the club as well to hear from them and collect ideas on ways to improve rugby in Honiara.
“The meeting is basically to hear from the clubs collectively and put in place our plans forward. HRUA is here because of the clubs and its players and this must not be forgotten.
“In any development plans HRUA wishes to implement, the clubs’ inputs are seen as vital toward this important process. The clubs know better on situations running on the ground regarding rugby development.
“We will also work closely with SIRUF to help steer us in our development plans for this year.
“For most part of this upcoming remaining months, HRUA executive is expected to carry out competitions for affiliated clubs which is going to be interesting and exciting, and I hope this will get rugby fans in Honiara get what they have been expecting since the beginning of this year,” Pongi highlighted.
Pongi emphasised that rugby over the years have always forgot to in cooperate spiritual aspects into its affairs.
This is one of the ways to move forward, according to the Islanders club owner.
In the meantime, Pongi called on all the eight HRUA-affiliated clubs to come forward to pay up their affiliation fees for this year.
The affiliation fee is $100 per club per year and this is apart from the competition registration fees.
The affiliation fee is to legitimise clubs’ membership to HRUA.
Pongi assured that his reign at HRUA is only for the remainder of this current term.
“Once this term lapse, then I will make way for a new executive to come in and lead Honiara rugby forward in the New Year.
“But before I leave, while still at the helm, I will try my best as possible to move things forward for the betterment of rugby in Honiara.
“The ride in the months ahead is expected to be challenging and we have to struggle inorder to achieve our aims and objectives.
“There might be some disagreements expected to come toward our leadership at HRUA but the thing is to face them and try solving them in an amicable manner because the main aim is to move rugby in Honiara forward,” Pongi explained.