No Team Western Highlands for 7th PNG Games

The Western Highlands Provincial Sports Council has announced the cancellation of Team Western Highlands from participating in the 7th PNG Games in Kimbe.

The decision has not gone down well with provincial athletes, and their managers.

Team managers from at least eight separate codes lashed out at the Sports Council, describing the decision as ‘immature’.

Hagen District Sports President, Simon Kama, said the team still has three days before the games begin, as he reached out to the Province’s residents for help.

The Provincial Sports Council announced to the media yesterday that team Western Highlands will not take part, due to the current economic crisis PNG is facing.

However, Hagen District Sports Council President, Simon Kama, said the team has been training for the last three years, and the Sports Council should have been budgeting and planning toward the event during that time.

Kama said if the team will not be traveling to Kimbe, it will be a disgrace to the third largest City of the country.

Kama said Team Western Highlands is ready to defend their titles and medals in the 7th PNG Games, and if they miss out now, how will they be selected into squads to defend their titles in the next Pacific Games.

Team Western Highlands have always been in the 6th and 7th placings and if they miss out it will be a letdown for its youths.

Provincial Paralympic athletes have also been training for the last 3 years, and are ready to go, but are seeking funding from their local MPs.

Last month in a separate press conference, Sports Council Chairman, Steven Mokai and Team Western Highlands Manager, Peter Nepil, promised they will still not cancel the team even if there is no funding.

They promised to trim down the number of athletes traveling, however, in the 11th hour, it seems things have changed.

Kick Boxing team Manager, Thomas Kara, said the decision to cancel the team is like a slap to their faces, despite their hectic training.

Plan B for Team Western Highlands, is to at least send 8 representatives to Kimbe.

However, they are still appealing to kind hearts and local MPs to come to their aid, before the end of the week.

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Vasinatta Yama

Vasinatta Yama

graduated from Divine Word University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, with majors in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as minors in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies. Her current focus is reporting on court and crime stories as part of the news team. She constantly strives to improve her skills in investigative reporting.

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