PEOPLE in Foe and Fasu villages near the Oil Search operated oil fields had reason to celebrate during the Independence week following the official opening of their new sporting complex.
Kutubu Special Purposes Authority (KSPA) led by Norman Ba’abi, and local government officials in the Pimaga district that includes Lake Kutubu are working closely with Oil Search community affairs staff to revitalise local and district level sport.
Ba’abi said he saw that such friendly competition helped build community spirit.
Although it would take many years to upgrade or build facilities in all areas, KSPA has made a start with the construction of a sports field near Kaipu village.
Once a swampy area, it cost Maka Investment Corporation (MICL) Ltd K1 million to transform the water-logged land into a fenced sporting facility which was used during the first inter-village sports competition last September.
Chairman of Amporo’i Paul Yauwe said 12 villages areas from Mubi and Lower Foe areas to upper Fasus of Kaipu and Sisibia took part in soccer and basketball in the men and women’s division.
Yauwe who is also the managing director of MICL told The National that this was the first time a sporting oval had opened in the Kutubu district.
“It cost MICL a large amount of money to construct a field but it will be a benefit to everyone,” he said.
Yauwe said Oil Search realised that the donation of a few pieces of sporting equipment periodically would not really help the people in the long run.
What was required to assist people in the community was the technical know-how to administer sporting competitions in the area.
This administration and planning process is starting to bear fruit.
A one-week sports administration clinic was organised by Oil Search for 18 representatives of villages in the Pimaga sub-district.
Run by John Hou and Tim Gawot of the National Sports Institute this workshop taught the participants basic sports management skills that would enable them to run their clubs and associations at village and district levels.
Oil Search will continue to support sports through organising training and making equipment donations, now knowing that their input is part of a properly structured plan for sports in the Pimaga sub-district.
With ongoing support from Oil Search KSPA sports have a secure future in the Pimaga area of Southern Highlands province.