AS the 4th PNG Games enters the halfway stage, one sporting code from Team Western Highlands is on the verge of missing out from paricipating altogether.
Another has already been scratched after being left stranded in the province for the last two weeks, according to the deputy chairman of the Western Highlands Sports Council, Simon Kama.
Kama said he could not give a confirmed decision over the possibility of flying the WHP athletics team in by this morning, and was also disappointed that their soccer team was scratched from the competition.
Kama added that the disabled sportsmen and women could also have missed out but were lucky to arrive in time yesterday afternoon.
Lack of funds has been the main reason for teams’ non-participation at the Games.
General team manager for Team Western Highlands Chris Bopi said the team had been affected by the increase in airfares by national carrier Air Niugini with most of the contingent being delayed in last week’s flights.
He has made a special appeal to all business houses and local members of parliament and to all Western Highlanders working and living in Port Moresby for assistance in cash or kind as the athletics team have some gold medal prospects that have also won gold in previous games and are tipped do the same this year.
The team’s management also added that the constraints faced by Team Western Highlands at the moment will not be an obstacle to win gold medals in the various codes that they have been training for over the last ten months and is adamant to improve from its 7th placing in the 2007 PNG Games by setting the first three top positions as a benchmark for improvement.
Member for North Waghi and Deputy Governor for WHP Benjiman Mul had come to the rescue of the team since their arrival assisting with transport and even visiting players at all avenues and cheering for the teams.
Mr. Mul has also initiated a fundraising drive to raise more funds to meet some of the cost for the contingent during their stay in Port Moresby while Governor Tom Olga, who is on official duties in Australia also pledged his support to the team.
Mr Olga stated that all the codes have worked hard to participate in the games and he will try his best to get the athlete down to showcase their talent, adding that all their effort and hard work cannot be wasted.
Team Western Highlands is currently housed at the Dela Salle Secondary school at Bomana outside Port Moresby where the school’s board of management, staff and students had officially welcomed WHP contingent to the school grounds with a pledge to support them until the end of the games.