Sports can inspire a nation, says Sir Bob


SPORTS has potential to inspire a nation as it has did during the Fifa Under-20 women’s World Cup last year and during the rugby league World Cup.
Not only that Papua New Guinea can also be competitive with other countries around the world as well.
These were the words of Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae as he officially opened the 7th PNG Games at Muthuvel Stadium in Kimbe on Saturday.
He thanked the West New Britain government for winning the bid to host the BSP-sponsored Games that have brought 16 provinces to the oil palm province to learn and enjoy ‘Pasin West’ hospitality during the two-week long event.
Before continuing his speech, Sir Bob acknowledged the presence of Sports vice-minister Wesley Raminai, Talasea MP Francis Maineke, Goilala MP William Samb, and host Governor Muthuvel along with South Bougainville MP Timothy Masiu.
He thanked sponsors of the Games BSP, SP Brewery, Telikom, the National Gaming and Control Board, Kumul Holdings and Air Niugini along with the other minor sponsors.
Sir Bob said he was pleased the provincial teams had managed to make it to the Games despite the challenges — mostly on the financial side.
An estimated 12,000 athletes and visitors were expected in the province but the number looks likely to be much less given the reduced teams as well as the withdrawal of some provinces.
Sir Bob said sport was a uniting tool for the country. It is through sport, the people come to know each other and build friendships and achieve whatever they aspire to.
“The PNG Games not only provide competition but it is a breeding ground for promising athletes who can be identified by their respective sports to go on to represent the country at international level.”
Sir Bob encouraged all the athletes to give their best for their provinces. It must be noted that the athletes are representing their family, tribes and provinces, and more importantly they are playing for Papua New Guinea.
“As sportsmen and women, the athlete strive to give their best and reach the pinnacle of their sporting career.
“We are not only competing but we are competitive and excel in whatever sports we take part in.”
Sir Bob called on the government and the stakeholders to back sports because it was also a recreational activity that had benefits.
Sport improves personal health and all people must engage in such social activities.
“Sports must be given priority by providing them necessary supports such as building good infrastructure to achieve maximum benefits,” he said.
Sir Bob said at the closing ceremony, the provinces would also take part in the Queen’s Baton relay for the Commonwealth Games next year.
He wished all the 16 participating provinces, volunteers and technical officials a satisfying two weeks of competition.