The National, Friday July 5th, 2013
By KYMLIE KARANI
THE countdown to the 2015 Pacific Games officially started yesterday in a celebration at the Jack Pidik Park in Port Moresby.
The “Two Years to Go” celebration marked the countdown for the 2015 Pacific Games which will be hosted in the nation’s capital.
With a fleet of vehicles and two floats that drove from Hanuabada and Gerehu, city residents and those involved with preparations for the Pacific Games celebrated with performances from various traditional groups and the Royal Police Constabulary marching band.
Yesterday, July 4, marked exactly two years to the Games opening ceremony.
In attendance was Minister for Sports & 2015 Pacific Games Justin Tkatchenko, the PNG Olympic Committee, the 2015 Pacific Games Organising Committee, NCDC, PNG Sports Foundation and team officials and athletes.
Tkatchenko said for the past 12 months, the government had accomplished a lot in trying to ensure that upcoming Games was a success.
“The O’Neill government will continue to support the 2015 Pacific Games organising committee and its plans in preparation for the games right up to the official opening ceremony on July 4th 2015,” Tkatcjenko said.
“There is still a lot of work to do. If we all just work together with one aim, one goal, we can produce the best games ever!”
Tkatchenko added that the Pacific Games would be a significant event that would bring all Pacific nations together.
He also paid tribute to Pacific Games board chairman Kostas Constantinou for his efforts in getting the preparations off the ground.
Tkatchenko, who is the Moresby South MP, said it was not easy getting through bureaucratic red tape or securing funds but Constantinou and his team had strived to ensure work was continously being carried out and that there were little to no stoppages or delays.
He also reminded those in attendance that sports was a unifying factor in the community.
“Sport brings people of different backgrounds together. Sport unites people. It is a magnetic attraction where you meet new friends and we want the people to be part of this event in sports,” he said.
Tkatchenko thanked NCD Governor Powes Parkop for his efforts in working closely with the Sports Ministry to make sure that the nation’s capital was well prepared to welcome the 2015 Pacific Games.