EMTV Online met a prisoner, Ronald Pesh of Southern Highlands province who has been given an opportunity to participate in the 2017 PNG Games.
Pesh is a prisoner in the Low Risk (Minimum Security Unit) division in Buiebi prison, in Mendi, Southern Highlands Province.
Being a prisoner, making a comeback to the society is not always a welcome, but 2017 PNG Games has given this young man an opportunity to be free and to participate in the national event, thanks to the authorities.
Pesh who is from Southern Highlands was sentenced to 9 years in prison for crimes he did not want to disclose, but described as hardcore. Already served 6 years of his jail terms, he is yet to serve the final 3 years. The recently introduced CIS rehabilitation program has paved the way for this young man to be taken aboard to represent Southern Highlands Province.
“I was selected in the men’s 800m sprint during the provincial tournament which some of us (prisoners) were allowed to participate”. Pesh told EMTV Online. “I am someone who involves in many criminal activities in Lae. This is where I was apprehended and after serving two years in Buimo, I was transferred to Buiebi.”
When asked if authorities do allow prisoners to participate in the PNG Games, Pesh has this to say.
“Usually, they do not, but this is the first of its kind for the authorities to allow us to take part in PNG Games.”
Pesh whilst speaking highly of his prison commander, Senior Inspector Bob Omba said through his leadership in the rehabilitation program has given prisoners like him the privilege to participate in this tournament.
Pesh said he is looking forward to 2019 PNG Games in his home province, and pledge to continue being an athlete after completion of his jail terms.
“Though this is my first time to participate in any big tournament, athletics is what I will be involved in after leaving the jail.”
Pesh also calls for a special arrangement to be made so prisoners are given the opportunity to participate in the PNG Games.
Meanwhile, few other prisoners are also here, participating in various sporting codes.