Papua New Guinea
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Inclusive sports calls for recognition

The inclusive sports of the Mamose Regional Youth Games officially kicked off today and will end also in the evening.

A first of its inclusion in the Regional Youth Games and is only for exhibition until the next game is held in either the New Guinea Islands or Highlands region.

The games formally known as the Paralympic games is now known as the Inclusive games due to many distinguishable factors involved with people with special needs. 

This time around, only Madang district is able to field in athletes for the Youth Games.

With the commencement of the inclusive sports today, officials are calling for more recognition for people with special needs, advocating for inclusiveness in decisions made by authority figures in the Government.

Mr. Marcus Apo a Technical Official during the Regional Youth Games and the Court Director for Inclusive Sports in Madang Province, stated that even policies and frameworks have been done, it is not being implemented in order for people with special needs to really feel the effect of it.

Apo made a comment about the Mamose Regional Youth Games stating that, even when they were included in the program, as soon as the program eventuated, there were no mentions about the Inclusive sports during the formalities and the speeches in the program. They did not even parade with the sporting groups which lined up at the Laiwaden Oval on Monday during the opening ceremony.

As an abled man, Mr. Apo stated that he is just a bridge to what people with special needs can achieve, and at the moment, he would like to see the inclusiveness that is being appropriated to people with special needs.
Mr. Apo added that youths with special needs in Madang have had a massive impact in sports over the years but have never been given the opportunity to advance or further talents identified. They have not been given recognition where it is due.

The inclusive games played today are athletics, discus, javelin and shot put. Competitors came in from these districts, two districts who could not make it were Usino-Bundi and Middle Ramu:

Bogia - 5
Sumkar - 15
Madang - 10
Raicoast - 3

Willie Vaira the Tournament Director for Inclusive Sports under the PNG Sports Foundation stated that athletes with special needs have played a massive role in putting the country on the map through organized national and even international arena. 

He has clarified that under inclusive sports there are many categories that athletes come under. Inclusive sports cover special Olympics which is for the mentally challenged such as those with Down Syndrome, then there is Deaf Olympics, para Olympics to name a few.

Vaira now calls on the Government, NGO’s and even business houses to support Inclusive sports.
Mr. Vaira states that the PNG Sports Foundation is bringing in other sporting codes apart from the normal athletics competition for People Living With Disabilities. Under the Inclusive Sports wing, they would like to see more investments from the Government, NGOs and the business houses in supporting them to roll out these programs, which is currently in its initial phase at the moment.
This is also an opportunity for them to capture talents for the upcoming Pacific Games in Fiji.
Despite the limited recognition given to the special needs group, they have turned up perked up and ready to take on the field. 

It was a cheerful day, despite the weather.

Participants showed up ready with smiles and excitement, organized to finish off in the afternoon. 

They head on back to their respective districts tomorrow.