The athletes come from the sports of karate, volleyball, basketball and football, and are studying under a scholarship in IBS’ certificate program.
Secretary General of the PNG Olympic Committee, Auvita Rapilla, thanked IBS for providing this opportunity which greatly boosts the athletes’ chances of getting a job and securing their future in a professional career.
She also commended the athletes for taking the initiative to pursue an education and also thanked their sports for supporting them.
“Education is an important foundation in personal development and IBS offers high quality education. We are grateful for their support and thank them for making this available to Team PNG athletes under this scholarship program,” Rapilla said.
“Our athletes spend most of their lives representing our country and many of them do not get the chance to pursue their educational qualifications.
“We are proud to make this available to them with the support of one of the leading educational institutions in the country,” she said.
The group has been in school since February and are finding it as a new challenge and exciting as well.
Retired karate athlete, Julius Piku, said taking up the studies has helped him to plan his future after sport with what he aims to achieve in life.
“We will not compete forever, we will all retire one day and need a qualification to get a job or do something for ourselves to sustain us and our families,” Piku said.
Former PNG women’s basketball rep, Symoena Gesa, said getting a proper educational qualification is expensive and most people often struggle to achieve their career goals.
“Thanks to IBS and the PNG Olympic Committee, we have this opportunity to set ourselves up for life and I look forward to learning as much as I can and growing with this knowledge,” she said.
Rapilla added that the PNG Olympic Committee wants to see more Team PNG athletes benefit from this program and use their qualification to establish themselves as productive members of their community.
Under the program, Team PNG athletes can take up a study in one of the courses on offer under the IBS Certificate program.
The program has been running for three years and this latest intake brings the number of athletes who have benefitted from the Athlete Excellence Program to 20.
The PNG Olympic Committee facilitates the scholarship applications with endorsement from their respective national federations and submits it to IBS for confirmation.
Interested athletes can contact the PNG Olympic Committee for more information.