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Sports Foundation launched a new strategy for juniors in rural areas

Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation (PNGSF), the government’s leading agency for sports, was excited to have officially launched the first ever ‘Go Rural - Go Global (GRtGG)’ strategy yesterday at Hood Point Oval in Hula, Central Province. The strategy was aimed to develop the targeted juniors (6 - 16 years old) in sports in rural areas through teaching different sporting codes.

When stating the importance of the strategy, Director for Sports Operations and Development Peter Chalapan said that there are a lot of challenges in the community but he believes that investing in the kids is important. In addition, he said in order for us to go global, we have to start focusing on training the kids and taking the initiative to the rural level is beneficial.

“We can be competitive in the Pacific Region but against the rest of the world, we are not there yet. If we want to beat the Australian Kangaroos, ten years from now, we must focus on developing our young kids today,” he said.

“People say we can beat Australia in soccer or New Zealand in Rugby League, but I say we cannot unless we start training young kids and that should be our main focus,” Chalapan added.

Meanwhile, the PNGSF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Albert Veratau (founder of the concept) is adamant that PNG needs strategic interventions to set a new direction for our future generations and sport is playing its part by implementing the initiative.

“This is a holistic program. We want to shape the behavior and attitude of our future young generation to be doing the right things and it is more effective if we start this at the earliest age possible. So this program is targeting children from 6 to 16 years old,” CEO Veratau said.

PNGFA introduced the strategy with the expectation of putting sports in PNG on a whole new pedestal over the next decade and beyond. In collaboration with other relevant government agencies, national federations and other key sporting partners, they have worked together in the delivery of the program.

The strategy is the initiative that uses sport as the main vehicle to drive the Government’s slogan:

“Leave no Child Behind.”

In the meantime, the program run for the targeted juniors at Hula focuses on teaching them the code of soccer (due to its popularity in Hula), through both classroom sessions and physical morning drills.

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