To mark Olympic Day, the Australian High Commission announced a new partnership with the Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC) that will give PNG athletes world-class preparation in their bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held in July 2021.
Australian High Commissioner, Mr. Jon Philp, made the announcement alongside PNGOC Secretary General and IOC member, Ms. Auvita Rapilla, before joining an Olympic Day workout session led by PNG Olympians Ryan Pini and Dika Toua at Ela Beach as part of the world's largest 24-hour digital Olympic workout.
Australia is proud to support Team PNG in its ambitions for Olympic success, bringing PNG-Australia sports cooperation to a new level.
The $250,000 grant will assist PNGOC to: provide access to training camps in PNG and Australia that offer high level facilities; maximise preparation and qualification through attendance at international competitions; upskill PNG coaches using Australian coaching expertise; draw on Australia’s leading sports scientists to build capacity in PNG; and give financial support to athletes so they can focus on training to an Olympic standard.
High Commissioner Philp remarked; “As sport-loving nations and closest neighbours, Australia and PNG are natural teammates.
"We are proud to support Team PNG in its ambitions for Olympic success, bringing PNG-Australia sports cooperation to a new level.”
Rapilla, when thanking High Commissioner Philp, said, “The PNG Olympic Committee is proud to be a part of the broader partnership between PNG and Australia.
"Our countries have a strong history of partnership that extends onto the sporting fields.
"Solidarity and Friendship are foundational values of the Olympic Movement, with PNG and Australia members of the Oceania Olympic family.
"This support brings Team PNG’s athletes and coaches closer to their Olympic dreams.”
This package, funded through the PacificAus Sports program, builds on 20 years of partnership that helped PNG athletes get to the Samoa Pacific Games, brought NRL teams to play in front of PNG crowds, and continues to deliver benefits to communities through inclusive, safe sport.
Olympic Day was introduced to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games on 23 June, 1894. The goal is to promote participation in sport across the globe regardless of age, gender or physical ability.