By ISAAC LIRI
SPORTS vice-minister Wesley Raminai says West New Britain is ready to host the PNG Games.
Raminai, who toured the venues in Kimbe yesterday in the company of PNG Sports Foundation chief executive officer Peter Tsiamalili Jr, said after inspecting the facilities that he was impressed with the preparations by the provincial government and local organising committee.
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Raminai, who represented the Prime Minister and Sports Minister Peter O’Neill, was taken to venues in Hoskins, Kapore, Kulungi, the Kimbe Rugby League stadium, the Kimbe soccer accademy and the main stadium at San Remo.
The vice-minister flew into Kimbe yesterday for the one-day trip to inspect the sporting infrastructure and talk to organsiers about progress being made to host the country’s largest sporting event.
He was also briefed by the new contractor K&P of Korea who took over the building of the San Remo stadium from Nivani which had its contract terminated by the
WNB provincial administrator last year.
K&P is expected to complete work on all buildings by November in time for the Games to be held from Nov 18 to Dec 2.
Meanwhile, PNG Games Sports Desk Directorate head John Susuve echoed Raminai’s sentiments saying the province would be games ready in spite of the issues that had affected preparations since early last year.
Susuve, the man on the ground overseeing progress in the province over the last 18 months, said the people of West New Britain were ready to welcome the rest of Papua New Guinea as they host the seventh edition of Games.
“It’s a challenge for the people of West New Britain. They have been trying to showcase the spirit of ‘pasin west’ but the deferral of the games twice did cause a setback,” Susuve said.
The setback saw the people of the province lose focus on event as they concentrated on the 2017 national elections but despite that, the leaders of the province have assured the PNG Sports Foundation and the state of their commitment to stage the event.
“With the current status of the new government and the support from the Prime Minister and Sports Minister Peter O’Neill, it has changed the mindset of the
people to be very positive,” Susuve said.
“They have now become proactive with the new contractor working with the West New Britain provincial government to ensure everything runs accordingly and is completed on time,” Susuve said.
He said the entry by numbers of the sports and names in relation to accreditation had been positive after the elections.
“The outlook has been good and we’re looking forward to see West New Britain all geared up to receive the participating provinces.”
By ISAAC LIRI