PNG Olympian and swimmer Ryan Pini was awarded the Male Athlete of the Year honour at the inaugural Pacific Sports Awards held in Raratonga, Cook Islands, last month.
The winners of the seven award categories were announced at the Pacific Games Council (PGC) general meeting held on Sept 27 which also coincided with the awarding of 2015 Pacific Games to PNG.
The other award winners included Outstanding Sports Administrator of the Year, Tina Brown of Cook Islands.
Brown is the president of Oceania Netball Association and a member of the 2009 Mini Games organising committee
Outstanding Coach of the Year went to Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork of Samoa (weightlifting), Outstanding Technical Official of the Year went to Fiji netball’s Moape Vu Ravudole, Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr Robin Mitchell of Fiji, Outstanding Junior Athlete of the Year went to New Caledonian swimmer Lara Grageon, Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year was awarded to Ele Opelog of Samoa (weightlifting) and team of the Year went to New Caledonia men’s handball team.
PNG Swimming president Elizabeth Wells congratulated Pini for winning the award.
Despite the award being overshadowed by PNG’s bid for the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Pini achieved a feat to become the first winner of the Male Athlete of the Year.
Meanwhile, PNGSI also congratulated PNG Bid Committee for winning the bid for 2015 Pacific Games.
In other swim related news, there are four scheduled swimming competitions left on the 2009 calendar which are the BSc City Pharmacy and LASA Coca-Cola club championships in Port Moresby and Lae respectively from Nov 6-8.
The Coca-Cola Huon Gulf championship is on Nov 21 in Lae while two overseas meets are the TAS competition in Cairns on Nov 12 and the Dec 12-18 Zoggs Queensland championships in Chandler, Brisbane, Australia.