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The Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation (PNGSF) with support from the PNG Olympic Committee (PNGOC) will host the 8th PNG Games in December in the National Capital District, PNGSF chief executive Albert Veratau confirmed.

Usually hosted by provinces, PNGSF and PNGOC took over the hosting rights after Southern Highlands, NCD and Central, who initially agreed to host the games, withdrew due to various reasons.

The event is confirmed for 6-14 i December in the National Capital District. West New Britain hosted the last games in 2017.

Veratau, who made the announcement on behalf of Sports Minister Don Polye on Saturday, said 11 sporting codes would compete in the grassroots games.

“There are 11 sports that have been endorsed by the PNG Games Council and these include athletics, basketball, boxing, soccer, powerlifting, rugby league 9s, touch, volleyball, weightlifting, netball and rugby sevens,” Veratau said.

“These sports will be taking place in Port Moresby in December.

“I think we are very fortunate that the past and present government has built good facilities despite money issues, despite political issues, we are given some money to upkeep or maintain our facilities,” he said.

“The minister would like to encourage youths from 21 participating provinces outside of NCD to train hard and come to exhibit their talent at the state of the art facilities in Port Moresby.

“These 11 codes will be accommodated at four different venues consisting of the Sir John Guise Sports Precinct, Taurama Acquatic Centre, Bisini Sports Precinct and Rita Flynn Sports Precinct.”

He said since the games’ inception in 2003, it enhanced friendship and unity amongst the people and created an opportunity to expose raw talents through mass participation.

“The theme for the 2023 8th PNG Games will encompass the Go Rural to Go Global Strategy with emphasis on leaving no child behind in sports,” Veratau said.

He urged provincial governments to support their teams and invited them to bid for the 9th PNG Games confirmed for 2026.