The National- Friday, January 28, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
THE PNG Sports Foundation must actively promote development programmes for grassroots sports.
Deputy City Manager Honk Kiap yesterday issued the challenge when witnessing the presentation of K100,000 from the National Gaming Control Board to the Port Moresby Suburban Sports Association (POMSUSA).
Kiap said both the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (PNGSFOC) and the Sports Foundation have key roles to play in the development of our sportsmen and women.
“While the PNGSFOC concentrates on elite athletes, the PNG Sports Foundation must come down to grassroots level to assist our less privileged sportsmen and women,” he said.
Kiap applauded the NGCB board’s decision after a series of talks proved successful and their sponsorship request was granted to fund grassroots sports in the National Capital District.
He said if NGCB could come down to the grassroots level, he saw no reason why the government-funded PNG Sports Foundation could not do the same.
He thanked NGCB for being partners in promoting grassroots sports which and the funding would be channelled to develope soccer, basketball, volleyball and touch in the city’s suburbs.
NGCB chief executive officer Simon Sanagke said the organisation had an obligation to promote all sports and was pleased with the initiative by POMSUSA president Billy Aki.
“We have monitored what Billy Aki and NCDC have been doing in pursuing and promoting sports and we are happy to be a partner in promoting sports at grassroots level,” he said.
Aki thanked NGCB board and Sanagke for backing POMSUSA.
“We came up the hard way but it was through good support by NCD Governor Powes Parkop and Honk who had made everything possible for the POMSUSA,” he said.
He reiterated that the sponsors of K100,000 would cover all sports mentioned by Sanagke and Honk, and not just rugby league.
Aki, who retired as a rugby league player several years ago, has since dedicated himself to promoting sports-based community programmes for talented youth after seeing many rugby league players not given an opportunity to play in the city’s premier rugby league competition.