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Go for Gold!
It was the clear message by Lady Ni Cragnolini, the PNG Sports Foundation Commissioner for PNG Games, Arafura Games, Pacific Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.
Cragnolini made the announcement after the government invested K1 million (US$295,000) to pay for levy fees of the athletes in the 27 confirmed sporting codes that will be representing PNG at the 2019 Samoa Pacific Games.
“The government will support in investing in PNG sports by sponsoring K1 million for all the athletes’ levy fees,” she said.
The levy fee for each athlete is set at K2000 and is supposed to be met by the respective national sports federations, however, this is now not the case as the government through the PNG Sports Foundation board chipped in to assist athletes.
Cragnolini said it will now relieve the burden for the athletes and asked all of them to train hard in the remaining two and half months and bring home gold medals from the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa, slated for July 7-20.
“The preparation for two and half months from now on and the PNG Sports Foundation first time take a special notice and support in any way for the pacific games can be successful and most of them we want to produce more medals.”
She said the PNG government with the new Sports Foundation Board is driving sport to get to the next level. Cragnolini was able to visit some of the sporting athletes training yesterday at Taurama Aquatic Centre.
The visit provides the opportunity to identify issues faced by athletes and how to address and bring solutions to these issues.
“With the issues brought up we will seriously consider and address and also found out what the real issues faced by athletes who will be attending this year’s Pacific Games,” she said.
PNG Sports Foundation chief executive officer Peter Tsiamalili Jr said the visit by Cragnolini is the significant step by the board (PNG Sports Foundation) for the first time in working collaboratively with PNG Olympic Committee to ensure athletes are given the support.
“We know after consulting with the Olympic Committee that in terms of medals and return on medals strategically with the limited months we have, it will be more wise for us to invest whatever little we have apart from the levies,” Tsiamalili.
“The government’s continued support under the leadership of Prime Minister and Sports Minister Peter O’Neill to take carriage of their levy fees is to ensure all PNG athletes are focused on their preparations and performing well in their competitions.
“The government will also be narrowing down its attention by making sure there is return on investment where specific attention will be given towards to individual sport over team sport,” Tsiamalili said.
He said there may be incentives for medal winners however the government’s focus will be on making sure there is return on investment with Cragnolini taking a closer interest on each athlete’s and team’s preparations for the games.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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