PNG family's sports and social success

28 April 2017

A team of people stretching in preparation for exercise

They aren't as famous as the Chappell brothers or the Williams sisters, but the Ilas of Papua New Guinea rank as one of the great sporting families of the world. Remarkably, they rose to success through sport for development programs and are now using sport to aid at-risk youth.

As the sun sets over Lae in PNG's Morobe province, the Ilas are bantering, laughing and appealing their way through a game of backyard cricket. Tropical jungle surrounds their immaculate home, mountains soaring to the north and south.

Apart from playing a variety of sports at the elite level, the Ilas are also officials, administrators and founders of three sports clubs.

The Friends Cricket Club, Friends Netball Club and Sa'lle Dogs AFL Club were all born from a sense of social justice and sporting entrepreneurship in the family. Australian Aid-supported sport for development programs assist their efforts.

Pacific Sports Partnerships, Australia’s flagship $29 million sport for development program in the Pacific, encourages healthy lifestyles, and also helps empower women through sport and builds cooperation in and between communities.

Squad goals: PNG family's sports and social success

Last Updated: 28 April 2017