Rugby player Stanley Gene's boost for Papua New Guinea

Stanley Gene Stanley Gene started his foundation in 2005 with donations from his fellow rugby league players

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A former rugby league player has returned to his homeland of Papua New Guinea with donated equipment for schools and hospitals.

Stanley Gene set up his foundation in 2005 while playing for the Bradford Bulls.

The charity collects donated items and ships them out to the remote areas of the South Pacific state where Gene grew up.

The latest trip included equipment for local schools and hospitals.

Gene described his upbringing the villages as "tough".

"I didn't have any shoes," he said.

"I played my first rugby without any rugby boots, I played barefoot. I used to walk miles to get water from a creek."

Gene played rugby league for more than 13 years in the UK, appearing for Hull FC, Hull KR, Bradford Bulls and the Huddersfield Giants. He is now the head coach at the Championship One side Gateshead Thunder.

'Goosebumps'

The charity started with donations from his fellow players to send back to the community.

Since then the Hull-based foundation has expanded and now ships a container of goods each year.

The latest delivery included 1,000 rugby shirts donated by Huddersfield Giants fans, computers and beds for the local children's hospital.

Over the years the foundation has paid for a water supply for more than 1,000 people and has built classrooms at a school in Goroka.

Its long term aim is to build and set up a sports academy with links to rugby league clubs in the UK and Australia.

Gene said each visit with the container of donated items gave him "goosebumps".

"So excited to see the kids get them and make use of it," he said.

"The teachers, the students and even the people in the village are so appreciative of things that we see as pretty ordinary here."

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