AT least 88 athletes representing Team Western Highlands to compete in the 4th PNG Games in Port Moresby are stranded in Mt Hagen.
The athletes, comprising compromising kickboxers, bodybuilders, soccer and touch footy players, are now calling on the team management to explain why they missed out.
The participants packed the Air Niugini office in Mt Hagen and the Kagamuga Airport yesterday morning to check if their tickets were bought so that they could fly yesterday afternoon for the games.
The athletes were seeking an explanation on why they had missed out after paying their K600 levy fees to the provincial sports council (PSC).
The athletes said that they had been preparing for the last six months and “it was all a waste”.
The only teams that travelled with the management and technical officials were the basketball, softball and taekwondo competitors.
The athletes had been waiting since lastTuesday for the management to make arrangements for their travel.
However, they claimed that there had been no response. They are now calling on the management to refund their K600 levy fees.
They said it was disappointing that after holding various fundraising activities for the last six months to attend the event, they were left out.
“This is a disgrace. The management has failed its duties. This is really spoiling the image of our province.
“We have a right to represent our province at the games and this so-called management has to explain to the people of Western Highlands and the athletes,” one of the athletes, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
In future, Team Western Highlands should have a proper management to be in charge of such activities.
The competitors also said some of them resided in the remote parts of the province and wasted their resources and time.
Others left their homes since last week and were residing with relatives in town.