The National, Thursday 13th September, 2012
REIGNING champions Team NCD are ready to shake off the dust at Guria land when the 2012 PNG Games kick off on Nov 19 at Kokopo, East New Britain.
Chef de Mission Numa Alu said his team were ready, throwing down the gauntlet to all other provinces.
He said Team NCD had already jumped the first hurdle to be the first province to submit all necessary requirements to the host organising committee and the second hurdle was to win the Games.
NCD is taking part in 20 of the 22 sports on offer at the Kokopo Games which are athletics, boxing, basketball, cricket, darts, golf, hockey, karate, kickboxing, netball, powerlifting, Paralympics, rugby league 9s, rugby 7s, soccer, snooker, taekwando, touch, volleyball and weightlifting.
Two sports, softball and bodybuilding, were dropped after the officials failed to meet the deadline.
Alu said the athletes were in full training and the overall preparations for the team were progressing well.
The 500 athletes and officials were challenged individually from the outset to give their best and collectively as a team to secure the title of leading sporting province.
“Team NCD is going out of its way to secure the sponsorship, and the athletes were told in no uncertain terms we are not taking passengers to Kokopo. We are taking the best of the best,” he said.
He said NCD Governor Powes Parkop made his stand clear when issuing the challenge to other capital city team.
“This team is the one to beat during the PNG Games and our governor wants us to retain because we do the talent and ability.
“This message has been passed on to the team managers and players that they are not going for a holiday or sightseeing. We are going to play hard and retain that title.”
Alu said the three open members in NCD along with number one supporter Parkop have pledged their financial support which showed that they were right behind the defending champions.
Governor Parkop, through NCDC, pledged K400,000 while Michael Malabag (Moresby North West) pledged K100,000, Justin Tkatchenko (Moresby South) committed K50,000 and Labi Amaiu (North East) pledged K5,000
The NCD’s four parliamentarians have backed Team NCD as the pride of the nation’s capital but also for the opportunity the athletes will get to showcase their talents at a national event.