A bank account opened to support injured Papua New Guinea rugby league international Kurt Baptiste will close today.
The 28-year-old North Queensland Cowboys hooker suffered a season ending knee injury in the second half of the PNG Kumuls Oceania Cup test defeat by Toa Samoa in June, which ruled him out playing for 12 months.
Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas launched the appeal at the start of July with a K10,000 donation.
"The welfare and needs of our athletes/players who represent and make sacrifices for PNG at times such as these must be supported," he said. "Let's get behind this appeal and support Kurt Baptiste," he said.
PNG Rugby League CEO Reatau Rau said NRL players are insured and all claims will mainly be for costs related to the injury, and any donation amount big or small is greatly appreciated.
"Our concern is his welfare. He risked his NRL contract when he chose to play for PNG and the injury happened while he had the Kumul jersey on. As a Nation, we are obliged to show our appreciation and support, so he can get through this difficult period."
Reatau Rau said many people supported the idea through social media before the account was opened: "Those who pledged and supported Kurt through the social media can please deposit their monies into this account."
The PNG Hunters are travelling to play the Blackhawks this weekend in Townsville and Reatau Rau said Hunters and Kumuls coach Michael Marum and the players will visit and present the final donation to Kurt Baptiste.