GROUP WORK: Netballer, Winnie Mavara getting students in a group activity at the Boroko Primary School in Port Moresby. PHOTO: A. Molen/ PNGOC.
Various sports will gather today (Friday 23, June) at the Rita Flynn Courts in Port Moresby to join the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee in celebrating the Olympic Day.
June 23 is celebrated worldwide as the Olympic Day where different activities to commemorate the Olympic Movement are held. The Olympic Day pillars of ‘Move, Learn and Discover’ are promoted by events held on the day.
In PNG the three pillars will be promoted through a PNGOC sport demonstration event with different sports having the opportunity to showcase their game, skills and talents as well as educate and inform students from various schools who will be participating at the event. Students will also have the chance to meet PNG’s elite athletes.
Sports who have confirmed to do demonstrations today are Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Karate, Taekwondo, Netball, Volleyball, Cricket, Soccer, AFL, PNG NRL (for rugby league), Gymnastics and Fencing.
Apart from the sports demonstrations there will also be a booth for information on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Olympic Values Education Program (OVEP).
The PNG Olympic Committee began its celebration with a week of activities that began on Tuesday this week. The activities included educational awareness on Olympism, the Olympic values and also involved group work and presentations from the students.
Team PNG athletes led the presentations and received a lot of positive feedback from students and teachers.
“The Olympic Movement is a worldwide movement and PNG through the PNG Olympic Committee is a part of this. It is the highest level of sport that all athletes aspire to,” said Secretary General of the PNG Olympic Committee, Auvita Rapilla.
“But the Olympic Movement is not just about sports, there are many lessons and inspirational messages promoted by the Olympic Movement as well as educational and developmental programs that it drives through the various sports and the athletes around the world.
“We are proud to be part of this worldwide movement and we celebrate the Olympic Day the best way we can, using the Olympics’ most important tool, sports,” Rapilla said.
As part of its program for today, the PNG Olympic Committee and the United Nations office in PNG will announce the names of five PNG athletes who have been identified to be Champions for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Sports has been recognized as an important tool for development and the five athletes will be part of the program to promote the SDGs through sports.
Schools that were visited by Team PNG athletes and PNG Olympic Committee are Boroko Primary School, Badihagwa Technical Secondary School and the Lahara Birdwing Elementary School. Badihagwa also made history as the first school in PNG to try out the sport of Fencing.
Fencing has been part of the Olympic Games since the Games’ were first held in 1896 in Greece. Leon Thomas from the Oceania Fencing Confederation introduced the sport to enthusiastic grade 10 students who showed some natural flare in their execution. Thomas who is in PNG to promote and establish the sport, will also be making a demonstration at the Rita Flynn Courts today.
PNGOC is excited about today’s event and is looking forward to meeting all the participants and sharing the Olympic spirit.