By ISAAC LIRI
BRINGING the 7th PNG Games to a small centre like Kimbe, West New Britain, for the first time was always going to be challenging, says PNG Games Council chairman Peter Tsiamalili Jr.
The absence of technical officials for several sports; the state of some venues which did not meet minimum standards required by some sports such as soccer, as well as the lack of teams to play the sports due to the late arrivals of some provincial contingents meant only one sport managed to start its competition yesterday.
Tsiamalili Jr, pictured, pointed out the challenges after day one of the games did not go according to plan with only hockey being played but he remained confident the Games would
not be adversely affected.
Tsiamalili Jr urged the teams, organisers and all other stakeholders, including the public, to cooperate and address the challenges together.
“We have challenges and we’ve said that in the beginning and expected those challenges and we’ve always said that this is a collaborative effort from everyone and not just from the host province but from the other provinces as well,” Tsiamalili Jr said.
“The geographical challenges, internal challenges and financial challenges have all been faced here and across the country but it’s been a big effort from everyone to come into the province and that should be applauded by everyone.
“We are going to face this together, the media, the teams, the host organising committee and sponsors all understand and we have agreed to have constant dialogue with each other as we meet the challenges.
“This is the PNG Games and we have to work together to make it a success. Our key deadlines have changed but these are the challenges and we have to manage them and in the next few days we will continue to address these issues and hopefully we will finish off strong.
“I have said that it is not how you start but it is how you finish so we are doing all we can and even then not everyone is going to be content.
“Having the geographical and economic challenges, we haven’t gone backwards, the games have created a whole different challenge and all provinces knew that it was going to be tough to have the games in West New Britain for the first time.
“I believe that all the provinces get their funding from the same purse so provinces might not be getting their money in time to arrive at the Games, but we are all getting money from the same purse so those are things that pose the challenges.
“In terms of numbers, it is not what we expected as in the previous Games which was held in Lae in 2014.”
By ISAAC LIRI