K16.5m for games

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 06th December 2011

NEXT year’s PNG Games is set to go down as the most expensive sporting event since the 1991 South Pacific Games.
With government funding to be K16.5 million, the Games in Kokopo next September will easily eclipse all previous PNG Games before it with the majority of the funding (K10 million) to cater for infrastructure development alone.
The first three games in Goroka and Lae, which were called the Grassroots Olympics, were self-funded while the Port Moresby Games in 2009 received K1.2 million from the government making the K6 million earmarked for games preparations alone making it the single biggest contribution from the state.
But the money will be well spent and accounted for with the Sir Rabbie Namaliu-chaired local organising committee working closely with the PNG Sports Foundation and various other stakeholders including the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee to ensure that the the province is ready to welcome teams from the 19 provinces.
PNG sports’ biggest funder the National Gaming Control Board through its community benefit fund will bankroll the event.
The Games is also seen as adry-run for the 2015 Pacific Games because it will involve the largest number of athletes converging on one location that will test oragnisers’ capabilities.
The biennial event is scheduled for 2014 as well.