By SULI SULI
THE Papua New Guinea Hockey Federation (PNGHF), through the Hook in4 Health programme, is among three finalists for the SP Sports Awards’ community initiative of the year.
Inclusive GymBad Programme and League Bilong Laif are the other shortlisted initiatives for the South Pacific Brewery-sponsored Sports Awards, of with The National is the official print media partner.
Hook in4 Health is a community initiative of PNGHF, in collaboration with the Oceania Hockey Federation, Cairns Hockey Association, Family Planning Australia, Hockey Australia, Flinders University and local partners.
Funded by the Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hook in4 Health is a strong, collaborative sports-for-development partnership that provides equal opportunities for women, girls and people with a disability.
“Through the programme, we talk to participants about the three pillars of living, learning and leading well,” program coordinator Ray Lapun told this paper.
Supported by Team Up Australia, the programme promotes hockey inclusivity and physical activity with the aim to promote learning, wellbeing and leadership.
Lapun said key messages include comprehensive health (healthy decision-making), sexuality education (sexual and reproductive health and rights), and nutrition initiatives and activities.
“The idea is to be sustainable and promote healthy living,” he said.
Due to Coronavirus restrictions on mass gatherings over the past two years, Lapun said PNGHF was yet to reach out to more schools and communities. “The first year of the project was 2021,” he said.
“The idea is to be sustainable and promote healthy living.”
“We were supposed to go around to schools in Port Moresby and surrounding communities.
“Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we were not able to do that.
“Instead, we opened the hockey vicinity for children to come and play.
“That’s where we captured students and parents with our awareness.”
Lapun said his team had also visited several communities in Manus.
He said they had reached out to remote parts of the province to carry out awareness despite limited funding.
“Apart from what we do, I did some awareness on the pandemic in Manus,” Lapun said
“I was invited to create awareness among several schools and communities on Lou and Baluan islands.
“This is what the initiative is about – reaching out to communities and rural areas, and talking to them.
“I used this as an opportunity to promote hockey too.”
While the federation continues to pursue its mission and achieve results over the initiative, Lapun said his team were grateful for being recognised and shortlisted for their efforts.
“We’re proud to be one of the finalists of the SP Sports Awards,” he said.
“We may or may not win, but we’re grateful that our efforts have been recognised.
“This shows the success of the initiative.
“I want to thank our partners in ensuring that we deliver the initiative.”
Lapun said his team would visit Lae, East New Britain and Manus to continue delivering the initiative this year.