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PNG Games set to go

PNG Sports Foundation CEO Mr. Albert Veratau

The 2023 PNG Games will be held in Port Moresby later this year (December 6-14), according to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation (PNGSF), Albert Veratau.

On behalf of Minister Don Polye, CEO Veratau officially launched the 2023 PNG Games at the Sir John Guise Indoor Complex Stadium on Saturday, 5th August 2023.

The PNG Games was first developed and introduced by PNGSF in 2003. It is held every two years. It is a bi-annual tournament. The reason for introducing PNG Games is to promote and develop national unity, and provincial pride through sports participation.

The event was first held in Port Moresby and later other provinces were given turns to host the

games. The 7th PNG Games was recently held in Kimbe, West New Britain Province in 2017.

Then in 2019, the Headquarters of Southern Highlands Province, Mendi won the bid to hold the 8th PNG Games. However, due to incomplete facilities and the COVID-19 pandemic, among other reasons, Mendi could not stage the games. Another two years were given to Mendi to prepare for the games, but the Southern Highlands Capital failed to meet the deadline.

After almost four years of not hosting the PNG Games, the PNG Games Council has sat down and

deliberated to decide which province would host the games. After much deliberations and discussions surrounding the next venue to host the PNG Games, the Council has agreed unanimously to host the event in the Nation’s Capital in partnership with NCD and Central Provincial Governments.

Mr. Veratau has announced that the funding to cover the costs and expenses of the event is not

available at the moment, but he believed that some funds would be made available leading up to

the event. He reiterated that Minister Polye and the Government have earmarked some funds to

host the games.

“Minister Polye and the Government have given their full support to host the 8th PNG Games in December. I am confident that some funds will be allocated in the coming months. We are good to

go,” Mr. Albert Veratau stated.

“We are very fortunate that the past and present Governments have built good facilities, despite

facing money issues and political issues. We are given some money to upkeep and maintain our

facilities. The facilities are in good condition for the athletes to use,” he added.

A total of eleven (11) games will be played. The 11 sporting codes are Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Soccer, Powerlifting, Rugby League Nines, Touch, Volleyball, Weightlifting, Netball, and Rugby sevens. The participating teams will compete in the aforementioned sports.

“These 11 codes will be accommodated at four different venues consisting of the Sir John Guise Sports Precinct, Taurama Aquatic Center, Bisini Sports Precinct, and Rita Flynn Sports Precinct. All these sports will be taking place in December,” Veratau said.

There will obviously be some challenges, as is expected of hosting any event of such magnitude, but the Games Council is determined and confident to deliver the games successfully in December.

Aside from the Government’s support through the Sports Ministry, Mr. Veratau has asked the

business houses to come on board and chip in financial assistance in preparation for the games.

Government alone cannot do everything. It needs support, assistance, and collaboration from

everyone to pull off a successful 8th PNG Games.

Meanwhile, Mr. Veratau has urged the Provincial Governments to throw their undivided support

behind the teams and invited them to bid for the 9th PNG Games, which will be held in 2026.

PC: PNG Sports Foundation

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