The National – Tuesday, June 28, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
TEAM PNG is all set to participate in the 24 nominated sports in the 2011 Pacific Games to be held in Noumea, New Caledonia, in August.
Despite the promised “Grassroots to Gold” K3 million project funding from the national government slowly creeping into the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (PNGSFOC) coffers, the Pacific Games scheduled from Aug 27 to Sept 10, will see PNG send its largest contingent yet with more than 300 athletes short-listed to represent the country.
PNGSFOC secretary-general Auvita Rapilla last night confirmed that the country should have representation in all 12 compulsory sports and 12 of the 15 optional sports.
The compulsory sports are athletics, beach volleyball, basketball, soccer, golf, volleyball, tennis, swimming, canoeing, rugby 7s, table tennis and weightlifting.
Bodybuilding, boxing, squash, shooting, archery, karate, taekwondo, sialing, triathlon, cricket, surfing and powerlifting are the optional sports PNG compete in while judo, badminton and baseball are the others.
The process in rendering teams elligible for the Noumea is very strict but the justification committee has confirmed the 24 sports.
These sports include some of our development teams in preparation for 2015.
Rapilla said the funding had not been released and sports had to rely on the limited Olympic solidarity funding they received from the PNGSFOC to conduct their training locally and abroad.
Regardless, all the sports are doing what they can to ensure their individual athletes are well prepared.
Chef de Mission Tamzin Wardley said that the fundraising by the PNGSFOC which usually goes towards funding preparation also had to be transferred to participation costs.
The management team has been working tirelessly towards ensuring all accreditations and preparations for the team have been completed.
The accreditation deadline is today and yet still some sports have not completed all the required documentation for their athletes and officials.
“With a team the size of ours, with some 430 participants, trying to ensure passports and visas for everyone is problematic.
“Even with all the years of experience we have at attending games, some sports still don’t appreciate that these things take time and leave them too late,” Wardleysaid.
She said the management team had done well to get all documentation to the organising committee.
She said athletes had a responsibility to ensure that they completed all paperwork.