SETTING THE PACE: Team PNG aims to put up another strong performance in Samoa after topping the medal count at the last Pacific Games on home soil in Port Moresby. PHOTO: PNGOC File.
National Federations hoping to have their sport endorsed as part of Team PNG to the 2019 Pacific Games will be meeting with the Justification Committee (JC) of the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The justification process for sports to attend the Pacific Games is long established with PNG Olympic Committee to ensure sports and their athletes are properly prepared and the final athletes and officials endorsed to be part of Team PNG are of a standard expected.
This first round of Justification Committee meetings related to the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games will also serve to endorse sports officials for the various sports on the program.
There are a total of 27 sports on the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games program. It is hoped Team PNG will be able to have athletes competing in all 27 sports however, with several National Federations failing to submit any documentation to the PNGOC to justify their sport’s inclusion in Team PNG, the Justification Committee will be making some hard decisions this weekend on the possible omission of those sports from the Pacific Games.
National Federations that failed to submit documentation to PNGOC by the deadline are Boxing, Football (Soccer), Judo, Lawn Bowls, Powerlifting, Rugby 9s, Taekwondo and Va’a (Outrigger Canoeing).
All other National Federations of sports on the Games program that have submitted documentation have been notified of their respective times to meet with the JC.
Chairman of the JC, Michael Henao thanked the National Federations that did comply with the stringent requirements while also calling on all sport administrators to be diligent with their work “because their failures will directly impact Papua New Guinean athletes and risk medals for Team PNG.”
Henao added, “I want to reassure all stakeholders that the JC – a dedicated voluntary committee – will work hard to give PNG sports the best chance possible to make the Pacific Games.”
After this first round of JC meetings, National Federations will be required to meet with JC twice more in the future. The next phase will be late this year to monitor progress of the athletes from sports endorsed to travel; with the final phase being for National Federations to justify their final team selections to the JC for endorsement in March, 2019.