By HENRY MORABANG
THE momentum of the PNG Games is slowly picking up with majority of the sports now conducting their respective competitions.
PNG Games sports director John Susuve said he was satisfied when looking at competitions attracting lots of fans. Satellite venues at Sarakolok Oval and Sir Pita Simongun Stadium at Kapore were filled with spectators watching soccer and touch matches.
Susuve said the efforts of the national federations had played a big part in ensuring the Games got underway after a checkered start.
“I want to thank the national federations for their patience and their efforts in ensuring they met all the requirements before kicking off their competitions which shows that they were determined to make the Games a success,” Susuve said.
All 16 provinces are in West New Britain with their full complements except for Eastern Highlands who still have a large number of their contingent still stranded in Lae.
Susuve said the organisers had to modify and adjust their programmes to suit the numbers.
“We have allowed several sports pitted against Eastern Higlands to defer their competition but we’re now four days into the Games week and unfortunately we cannot allow it.”
Susuve was disappointed that two vocal and senior members of the PNG Games Council — NCD and Morobe — failed to show good example by breaching age requirement rules.
The Games Council rules stipulates that the age limit for this Games is between 12-35 years. He added that yet both province had been guilty of fielding over-age athletes.
“The age limit was endorsed by the provincial council members, the PNG Sports Foundation and the national federation but these two provinces have still breached that rule.”
The eligibility is clearly stated and the sport of volleyball has a top competition in the NCD and Morobe who have opted to field their elite squads instead of giving the opportunity to their younger players.
“PNG Games is about creating path way for up and coming players but yet these provinces are not respecting that rule.”
He commended boxing for removing all representative players and elite boxers from the Games.
By HENRY MORABANG