Sir John: We’re discussing options with Raminai, PNGSF for training
By PATRICIA KEAMO
PAPUA New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC) president Sir John Dawanincura says discussions with Sports Minister Wesley Raminai and the PNG Sports Foundation (PNGSF) are underway regarding the use of alternative venues for elite athletes.
He said there was a need for the country’s elite athletes to train while the Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Centre (TAIC) was being used as a Covid-19 treatment and holding facility.
Following the national pandemic response controller’s announcement to commandeer the venue for the country’s Covid-19 operations, national sporting federations and associations had raised concern through PNGOC on the impact it would have on training and preparation of elite athletes for major events.
“Not only (trainings) for the Olympics but the Pacific Mini Games and the Commonwealth Games (in 2022) and we’re also targeting the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara, Solomon Islands,” Sir John said.
He said prior to the initial announcement, there was no consultation with the sporting bodies, however, they acknowledged the response made by the Controller David Manning to review the commandeering of TAC in a month’s time.
“I want to acknowledge Controller David Manning for stating that they will review the decision in a month’s time,” Sir John said.
He said PNGOC had met with Raminai and PNGSF last week to voice the concerns of national federations with regard to their ongoing training challenges.
“We looked at the various options and made certain recommendations for the minister to take up with the prime minister when required,” Sir John said.
“We’re working through those issues with PNGSF and the minister’s office so that our athletes can have venues to train.
“We’ve gone through due diligence and now it’s the implementation stage.
“We will pursue that on behalf of the national federations for our athletes to have alternate training venues.”