The National, Thursday October 24th, 2013
ATHLETICS PNG will embark on a major campaign next month to find athletes to represent the country in the throwing and jumping events at the 2015 Pacific Games.
Talent Identification Clinics will be held in Port Moresby , Lae, Mt Hagen and Kokopo facilitated by expert coaches from Australia and Fiji.
“PNG, in common with many Pacific Island countries just doesn’t have any throwers”, said Athletics PNG President Tony Green.
“The throws competitions at the Pacific Games are dominated by the French Territories with some medals going to countries like Fiji, Samoa and Tonga. We also have very few good jumpers and need to find a lot more before it is too late”, he added.
“Due to the time factor we are targeting ready made athletes. For the 2015 Games it’s too late to target high school students. Established players in other sports, with the right training background, can be developed in the time that we have,” he said.
“Traditionally PNG has focused on its strength which is the track events and has neglected the field events. There are a variety of reasons for this but we have to do something about it if Team PNG is to top the overall Games medal tally,” Green said.
“We are targeting the other sports and an invitation is going out to anyone who is interested to come and have a go. For example there will be rugby players, cricketers and softballers who would make good throwers. For the jumps we expect that basketball, netball and volleyball should have players with the right physical attributes.”
PNG Olympic Committee Secretary General Auvita Rapilla strongly supports the concept and appealed to other sports to back the initiative in the interests of Team PNG.
“Only a limited number of players can make the national team in a given sport. For the vast majority of other players in these sports, Athletics could offer the chance to enjoy the immense privilege of being a competitor in the 2015 Pacific Games” Rapilla said.
The programme will kick off in Port Moresby on November 25 and then moves to Lae, Mt Hagen and finally Kokopo.
Further details will be published in the media when the detailed itinerary is finalised.