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James replaces Veratau for top post


The Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation (PNGSF) held a small ‘Handover Takeover Ceremony’ to farewell outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Albert Veratau and welcome incoming CEO, Micha James on Wednesday, June 5th, 2024, at Sir John Guise Indoor Complex Stadium in Port Moresby.


Present at the occasion to witness the ceremony was the outgoing Minister for Sports and Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology, Honorable Don Polye, PNGSF staff, officers of the sports federations, distinguished guests and media personnel.


Mr. Veratau was appointed as the CEO of PNG Sports Foundation by the National Executive Council (NEC) in 2021. He served in that capacity for three years until his tenure lapsed in 2024.


Since Veratau’s contract expired earlier this year, an advertisement was published to fill in the vacant position. Veratau, James and others applied to get the top job. Of all the applicants, Albert Veratau, Michah James and Takala Tuna were shortlisted. Unfortunately for Veratau and Tuna, James got the nod.


James is no stranger to sports, as he has been working with the PNGSF for over a decade, serving in various capacities and contributing to the growth of sports in PNG. He has a wealth of experience to lead the PNGSF.


Mr. Veratau shared a few remarks and thanked the Government for entrusting him with the responsibility to look after all the sporting codes in PNG for three years and wish the new CEO best of luck, as Mr. James takes charge of PNGSF.


Mr. James said he was grateful and honored to head the PNGSF, acknowledging Veratau’s work and thanking Minister Polye and the Government through the NEC for showing confidence and trust in him to lead the organization.


“I have been waiting for this moment and finally, it has arrived. I would like to congratulate my good brother, Albert Veratau, who left a legacy here and I am looking forward to continuing the work,” James stated.


“Most of the plans that we’ve discussed, especially the programs for the foundation, I am aware of and I pledge to serve this sports foundation office with confidence and to the best of my ability.

“Sports play a very important role in our communities and we have to look carefully at it and try branching out to the rural areas.


“I am happy that my appointment marks a new beginning of change going forward. However, I do understand the challenges ahead, but when we work together as a team, we will achieve what we want in the end.”


Minister Polye also commended Mr. Veratau’s work and wished him best of luck in his future endeavors, while congratulating Mr. James on his appointment and encouraged him to continue the work that Veratau has left behind.


Meanwhile, the official handover takeover ceremony for the outgoing Sports Minister, Hon. Don Polye and incoming Sports Minister, Hon. Lucas Dekena, will be held next week. The date of the event will be revealed in the coming days.

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