Athletics officer bearers return with vote of confidence

Athletics PNG key office bearers; Tony Green (president), Philip Rehder (secretary) and Gordon Kapak (vice-president), were given a resounding vote of confidence at the Annual General Meeting held in Lae on December 17.

All were re-elected unopposed at the meeting, along with committee members Sophia Marai and Philip Kamane. Treasurer George Moramoro did not seek re-election and was replaced by Nola Peni.

However, the election of Bernard Manau as the third committee member ensures that East New Britain remains represented on the Committee.

A total of nine out of the 14 affiliates were represented at the meeting, with seven associations sending delegates and two appointing proxies.

Delegates expressed their disappointment at the total lack of Government support for the sport in 2016, despite the outstanding achievements at the 2015 Pacific Games when PNG won 22 of the 44 gold medals on offer in athletics, presenting 25 percent of all gold medals won by Team PNG.

This was after hearing reports that all funding ceased immediately after the Games, meaning that several  young athletes from rural areas, who were identified in the lead up to the Games and made good progress last year, are still at home in their respective villages.

These include Karo Iga (Central), Bonaventure Polau (Manus) and Timothy Maggie (Markham).  President Green said 2016 was a difficult year and APNG had worked hard to retain a good number of its top athletes in the sport.

“More needs to be done to develop talented PNG based squad members such as Idau Asigau, who surprised everyone at the Games with a fantastic 7.32m long jump but hasn’t been seen since.”

Despite these setbacks however, Green expressed confidence that  the consistent and long term programs adopted by APNG will see PNG retain its position in 2017 as the #1 Pacific Island nation in athletics.

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Press release