By ISAAC LIRI
THE 2018 SP Sports Awards were launched yesterday in Port Moresby commemorating the 26th edition of the event on May 26.
The launch marked the opening of nominations for 11 categories covering athletes, officials, teams, media and photography.
The 12th category which is the People’s Choice Award will be announced after the finalists are announced on April 28.
Chairman of the SP Sports Award panel Moses Koiri challenged the sports followers to flood in nominations to honour various sporting achievements of the past year.
“This is my fourth year as the chairman of the committee and we are looking forward to a lot of entries coming in,” Koiri said.
“There are specific rules about qualifications so if you are putting in your forms make sure you comply with the rules.
“There was a good number of nominations last year so we welcome all the sports for putting in their forms and my committee is ready to convene the number of entries to come up with the finalists and we will be able to come up with the finalist in April,” Koiri said.
PNG Olympic Committee president Sir John Dawanincura said at the launch that the support of SP Brewery to sport in the country has been there for 65 years.
“The relationship has grown over the years up to today between SP Brewery, the PNG Olympic Committee and the PNG Sports Foundation,” Dawanincura recalled.
“In 1992 we had the inaugural SP Sports Awards recognising the achievements of the sportsmen and women as well as the officials.
“Sir Dawanincura went down memory lane during the launch and talked about the journey of sports in the country and what it meant to have such SP Sports Awards to recognise sports.
“In the 1985 Mini Pacific Games in Cook Islands there was a forum as well and our Prime Minister at that time Sir Michael Somare attended many events and that was one where we (PNG) won gold in a lot of athletics events.
“When our PNG flag was flying high, I turned around to him and he was rubbing his chicks because he had tears of joy.
“So the power of sports is always around when we attend international events or domestic events and this year we will celebrate it once through the SP Sports Awards,” Dawanincura said.
By ISAAC LIRI