A five-member selection panel sat last week to deliberate on the 155 nominations received from around Papua New Guinea, and reached a consensus for the top three finalists for each of the 13 categories.
Chairperson for the SP Sports Awards (SPSA) selection panel, Moses Koiri, said this year, nominations were slow but picked up after a one-week extension of the closing date for entries.
He said apart from the National Capital District, a good number of the entries received were from other provinces.
“Being nominated is an achievement in itself as it demonstrates recognition by the sporting community and public at large.
“However, there can only be three finalists for each category and one final winner when announcements are made during the presentation night. But it’s important to note that they are all outstanding sportsmen and women in their own right,” said Koiri.
The SPSA committee also acknowledged the finalists for the Sports Media Award and the Photo of the Year categories, which are important awards recognising the contribution of the media in promoting the positive values of sport and the achievements and efforts of our athletes and officials.
Chairman of the SPSA, Andrew Lepani, said 2016 has recorded some notable sporting events in PNG with the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup being the highlight, along with Team PNG’s participation at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Lepani thanked the public for participating in the SP Sports Awards through their nominations and congratulated the finalists for each category.
The SP Sports Awards will be held on the evening of May 27 at the Crowne Plaza. The guest speaker on the night will be Australian rugby league legend – 'The King' Wally Lewis.
Male Athlete of the Year:
- Morea Baru (weightlifting)
- Justin Olam (rugby league)
- Assad Vala (cricket)
Female Athlete of the Year:
- Abigail Tere Apisah (tennis)
- Thelma Toua (weighlifting)
- Toea Wisil (athletics)
Team of the Year:
- PNG Barramundis (men’s cricket)
- PNG Kapuls (men’s football)
- SP Hunters (rugby league)
National Performance of the Year:
- Colin Geno (rugby league)
- Lae Snax Tigers (rugby league)
- Timothy Mako (basketball)
Community Sports Initiative:
- Girls Empowerment Though Cricket (cricket)
- Hoops for Health (basketball)
- League Bilong Laif (rugby league)
Junior Male Athlete of the Year:
- Geoffrey Loi (table tennis)
- Ryan Maskylene (swimming)
- Matthew Stubbings (tennis)
Junior Female Athlete of the Year:
- Patricia Apisah (tennis)
- Violet Apisah (tennis)
- Letisha Pukaikia (athletics)
Best Sportsperson with a disability:
- Joyleen Jeffrey (para-athletics)
- Elias Larry (para-athletics)
- Samuel Nason (para-athletics)
Sport Official of the Year:
- Carl Mari (karate)
- Michael Marum (rugby league)
- Frank Robby (weightlifting)
Sports Media of the Year:
- EMTV sports coverage (Electronic Media)
- Isaac Liri (The National - Print Media)
- Post-Courier sports team (Print Media)
Sports Photo of the Year:
- Golden Girl - Nicolette Ageva by Mark Talia
- Leaping High - Greg Inglis by Mark Talia
- Piggy Back Anyone - David Klemmer by Fidelis Sukina
People’s Choice Awards:
- Male Athlete of the Year
- Female Athlete of the Year
- Team of the Year
- National Performance of the Year