By BURI GABI
THE Papua New Guinea Paralympic Committee received a windfall of K100,000 from Bank South Pacific yesterday to assist the country’s paralympians in their programmes this year.
The sponsorship will go towards assisting PNG’s paralympians prepare for the Commonwealth Games in October which will be held in New Delhi, India.
The athletes will also attend other international events on the annual calendar for persons with disabilities.
BSP chief executive officer, Ian Clyne, said that Paralympics had not been recognised over the years.
BSP has gone on board after realising the difficulties athletes were going through to compete at major national and international events on the annual calendar.
BSP drew up with a three-year sponsorship agreement to help PNG Paralympics with K100,000 being given annually.
The deal which started last year, will ensure that funding goes to helping elite disabled athletes train and compete in the best programmes.
Clyne said Paralympics was one of the success stories, with Francis Kompaon, creating history, winning a silver medal at the Paralympic Games in Beijing.
He said BSP was pleased to be associated with PNG Paralympics and assist the athletes in their endeavours to promote the country through sports.
PNG Paralympics Committee chief-de-mission, Dr Kefu Ma thanked BSP for giving generously a three-year sponsorship arrangment to help support PNG Paralympians realise their dreams and expose their hidden talents. The athletes are currently undergoing training at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in Goroka, Eastern Highlands province, for the Delhi Games.
PNG is also looking at sending a strong contingent to the World Paralympic Games in 2011.
Dr Ma is appealing to those athletes living in other remote parts of PNG to come out and take part in such programmes that the PNG Paralympics Committee is currently organising.
He also said that Kompaon had won a scholarship programme and was undergoing training at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.
Kompaon will be carrying the pride of PNG at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
He is currently going through an intensive training programme under the watchful eyes of paralympic coach Sharon Hannan.
Dr Ma also stressed that the assistance from the bank was the single largest amount that any organisation had given to paralympics committee.
The organistion intends to send five athletes to attend the International Paralympic Committee sanctioned events in Australia in April.
Five powerlifters will also be selected to attend the world powerlifting championships in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 25-31.