Papua New Guinea
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Going rural to go global

PNG Sports Foundation is going rural with the inclusion of the Regional Youth Games.

This is in line with their new policy and motto of “Going Rural to Go Global”. The aim is to identify and develop raw talents that are hidden in the rural areas of the country.

The regional youth games for Momase kicked off yesterday in Madang. This is the second regional game after Milne Bay for Southern Region which was held last year.

Athletes were told that this new pathway will create a platform for hidden talents within the rural areas to be identified.

According to the Regional Youth Games Council Chairman and Director General for National Youth Development Authority, Mr. Joe Itaki, a lot of times youths in rural settings do not get the required exposure to make it to the national arena despite countless tournaments being held.

He believes with the launch of the Regional Youth Games, it will enable athletes to progress from their LLG and district games into the national games and hopefully, the athletes can make it further into the international arena.

Mr. Itaki highlighted on the various ambitions that the Department for Community Development and Religion, along with the National Youth Authority have in place, especially economic programs and now with the rollout of the Regional Youth Games.

MOMASE athletes were told to perform to the best of their ability as they have the opportunity now to launch themselves into the national game’s settings, with the presence of the National Sports Foundation at the Regional Youth Games.

Mr. Itaki stated that going forward, he would like to see more funding for sports being injected into the LLG’s and Districts for sports development.

Itaki further added that there are too many youth issues and this is the time when stakeholders should to come together to assist in developing the youths.

PNG Sports Foundation Executive Director, Mr. Albert Veratau, on behalf of Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology and Sports, Hon. Don Polye, stated that his team would be keeping an eye out for potential talents during the games.

He encouraged youths to give it their best shot as there are opportunities for them to see the world through sports.

He concluded by congratulating the teams and encouraging sportsmanship during the duration of the games.

The games started yesterday with soccer at Laiwaden Oval, rugby touch at Holy Spirit’s Yabong Park, and basketball and volleyball at Divine Word University courts.

Included in the games are crusades in the evenings and cultural shows.