Share the Games with other centres

Editorial, Normal

IT is never a good gesture to bemoan or complain about something after a tremendous effort has brought excellent results.
But we must.
If the 2015 South Pacific Games are about creating legacies, then certainly it would have been a sporting good idea to have spread the venue legacies far wider than just Port Moresby.
The 1991 SP Games showed us it could be done and quite successfully when those games were hosted in both our industrial city of Lae and in the capital Port Moresby.
In the end, the legacy left behind from the 1991 games was first class sporting infrastructure that we still have, if in a much dilapidated state, in both these cities.
It was hoped that with K3 billion as the target for the 2015 Games, two or even three other centres outside of Port Moresby could have been roped in.
If the planning for the games is not cast in cement at its approval stage, then we urge the organisers to consider another venue – perhaps Madang or Goroka or even both.
Kokopo and Wewak might be a little out of the way but not unreachable.
The legacy left behind in other centres might be prove to be equally valuable in the longer term.
It must be said that Port Moresby does have far more of everything than other parts of the country so when given a chance, such as the hosting of the SP Games, why not share the wealth around a bit.
It does seem a bit of a letdown to other centres if almost every code’s existing field in Port Moresby will be upgraded for the games and beyond.
Let PNG share the good feeling and the upgrading of standards of fields of play in more areas than one. After all, hosting of the SP games is a very rare once-in-a-decade kind of event.
There, now, that is said, let us turn to the good news.
There was little doubt in anybody’s mind that PNG would make it.
The 1991 games lives on in the minds of sporting administrators all around the South Pacific.
They would leap at any chance to relive the drama, the music, the protocol, the joy, the challenge and the pomp of that year – perhaps with increased vigour in 2015.
We must congratulate the organising committee which has taken this from concept to certainty and for the ever supportive corporate sponsors who finance the whole thing.
And our MPs and Government leaders of uncertain habits do have one trait that is outstanding and uniform throughout.
When it comes to sports, they support it and support it big time.
The 2015 Games bid introductory letters of support from Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and Opposition leader Sir Mekere Morauta are testimony of that.
Despite all the negativity that surrounds PNG, the country has shown itself as an organiser and a leader in certain areas over the years.
In the political arena, it has hosted in Port Moresby, the African, Caribbean, Pacific-European Union Joint Assembly and pulled it off successfully much to the surprise of many of those who visited who had only heard negative things about PNG.
It has hosted the Pacific Islands Forum meetings a number of times.
In sports, there was the 1991 SP Games and several successful international fixtures in various codes in between.
It just shows you what PNG is capable off when its mind is made up and when all pull together – in one direction.
In closing, we like to point organisers to look in one particular direction – the PNG Games.
To many, it seems an inferior competition. This, we submit, is a grave mistake and those of that mindset should have a quick rethink.
For too long have we focused on a few centres and neglected raw and perhaps far better talents out there.
The PNG Games, which will be staged in November, and a further two times before the SP Games, provide excellent talent hunting opportunities in all sporting areas.
Once those talents are identified, they ought to be given intensive coaching and training to prepare them for major events such as the SP Games, the Commonwealth Games and even the Olympic Games.
Again, it can be done if PNG pulls together.
As those from Morobe province like to say: Asasumba! Who says it can’t be done!