By HENRY MORABANG
CRICKET PNG will benefit from the portion of A$26 million (K63 million) package of ODA-eligible sports assistance announced by Kevin Rudd at this year’s Pacific Island Forum in Cairns, Australia for the next five years.
Australian High Commissioner Chris Moraitis (right) said this when accompanying Australian cricket legends to conduct training clinics in schools in Port Moresby.
He said included in the package was A$15 million (K36 million) to establish and support partnerships to strengthen sports activities.
Moraitis said: “This will also provide opportunities and pathways for players, leaders, administrators, coaches and officials to progress to levels beyond community competitions.
“One of the ways in which the Australian government is assisting PNG is through sport.”
The Australian government is presently working with Australian, regional and Pacific island organisations to develop programmes of assistance for cricket, netball, rugby league, soccer and rugby union.
“The government of Australia, Cricket Australia and the International Cricket Council-East Asia Pacific share a commitment to the development of grassroots participation in Cricket in PNG.
“Government of Australia, CA, ICC-EAP are presently working with Cricket PNG to finalise a five-year programme of assistance,” he said.
“Cricket PNG in developing grassroots participation throughout PNG will contribute to social development in the country, in particular, by developing quality people who adhere to positive values around health and social responsibility.”
Cricket PNG general manager Bill Leane said the organisation would also be announcing some big development for future later this month.
“Our sport is stable, has no violence or behavioural issues and there is no backroom administration brawls. All these help to create confidence amongst our sponsors and supporters,” Leane said.
“Cricket is a sport for families and boys, girls through to elite athletes in both women’s and men’s.
“We will continue to grow our presence nationally through the advent of support and funding from Government, the corporate sector and our friends,” Leane said.
Moraitis commended Cricket PNG for getting involved and providing training clinics for young school children.
“Sports are an important part of one’s life.
“Australians like Papua New Guineans love their sport and cricket is no exception,” Moraitis said.