One of PNG’s great cricketers, John Ovia, once said Hanuabada Village’s Liklik Cricket Competition has played a huge role in setting the standard of PNG Cricket both locally and internationally.
Today (4 April) marks the 11th Anniversary of the passing of the Late William Arua Rarua of Hanuabada Village, who was the founder of the Liklik Cricket Competition, which began 19 years ago.
According to Seura Loa, cricketer and co-founder of Liklik Cricket, the late Rarua wanted to start up a competition for the young children in Hanuabada Village that would occupy them during the school holidays.
“Hanuabada Village, being a traditional Motuan village in the burgeoning Nation’s Capital, was being rapidly introduced to all sorts of outside influences,” Loa said.
“With many of the city’s suburbs just a bus ride away, it is so easy for young people to wander off and be exposed to or participate in unruly activities. Steering young people in the right direction or getting them to participate in activities is a hard task, but one thing that brings them together is sport.
“Late William started this competition because he loved cricket. He wanted everyone in the village, including the young ones, to have the chance to participate in the sport that he loved. Once the interest grew, he went about and invested a lot of his own time and resources to run this competition so that the children in our village could participate and have fun.”
The Late Rarua embraced the sport of cricket as an affirmative disciplinary tool to captivate and occupy the young children of his community and eventually mould them into productive young men.
The Liklik Cricket Competition taught the values of teamwork, good sportsmanship, discipline and commitment. It was through participating in the competition that a lot of young men and women received these great life lessons. It was also through this competition that a lot of them have had their talents recognised and are now national representatives.
Lega Siaka, current PNG Barramundi and star batsman, had his humble beginnings in Liklik Cricket. Since being selected as a Barrumundi, Siaka has gone on to travel the world, going as far as the United Arab Emirates for representative duties.
“Many young kids from our village have gone to see parts of the world they probably would not have seen if it wasn’t for Liklik Cricket,” said Late William’s son, Oala John Rarua.
“I saw how the competition started and saw the benefits it brought to the kids and also the community. Youth who otherwise would have been vulnerable to abuse of drugs, alcohol and violence are now based overseas, earning a living playing cricket. I strongly believe my Father contributed to all of that.”
11 years after his passing, the competition still runs today with more and more young talent being identified and given the opportunity to develop into world class cricketers.
At the Digicel PNG Foundation Men of Honour Awards Gala Night on Saturday, 29 April 2017, Rarua’s legacy was recognised and honoured. He was awarded the first runner up for the Allen Mahuru Posthumous Service Award, an award recognising the outstanding contributions in service a person has made to their community, leaving behind a legacy that has created pathways for future generations to want to be someone great.
Eldest son Oala accepted the award on behalf of his family. Oala said a good metaphor for describing his late Father was that he was a carpenter.
“He built everything in his life from the ground up, with his businesses, with his teams and associations, with everything.
“He dreamt big all the time and his ideas never stayed ideas for long, but they became reality and were implemented for the betterment of those around him.
“The best thing about it is that his ideas and dreams have taken the average person to places they never thought possible. That is what he loved, giving life changing experiences to those who wanted it. And this is what he has done for so many young men and women from our village through cricket.”
The family were very grateful for the Posthumous Service recognition of their dear husband, father and grandfather, for it was around this time that he tragically passed away in a vehicle accident 11 years ago.
As we commemorate the anniversary of the death of Late William Arua Rarua, we are thankful for his gracious life and contribution which has blessed so many others and changed a community for the better.