By ROCKY ISSOU
SPORTS in the country has came a long way in the last four years with the country now seeing world class facilities and every sporting code able to use them.
The Minister for Sports and National Events, Justin Tkatchenko in reflections of his term in office and sent his sincere gratitude to all Sports men and women in the country.
He also sends his gratitude on those that have been dedicated to the Government’s cause of ensuring PNG becoming the number one hub of sports in the Pacific.
“When I first became Minister in 2012 we had to do an overhaul of the PNG Sports Foundation and that was changing the management, administrations outlook and board members.
We got some high profile Papua New Guinean business men and women who are credible people with know how to manage and organization and that’s what we did” said Tkatchenko.
One of the highlights for Miniser Tkatchenko and biggest challenges undertaken was trying to get the national sport of Rugby League up and running again.
PNG is now currently ranked 15 in the world but starting from scratch upon taking over a development pathway was constructed with the Hunters program now up and running along with the Digicel cup.
A new chairman SandisTsaka at the helm of rugby league which has saw the return of the Kumuls notching their first win against the Fiji Bati which is one of highlights of his term as Sports Minister.
Minister Tkatchenko paid special tribute to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for his backing throughout his term especially before and after the Pacific Games and those dedicated individuals sports men and women who want to see PNG sports progress.
“I would like to say a big thank you to the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill who sees what his Government has done through sports.
Without his support the Pacific Games would not have happened and I want to thank him for his continuous support,” he said.
He said there were challenges but despite this the success for sports can be seen and with the Rugby League world cup now coming to PNG in 2017, and the Oceania Swimming Championships in 2018 along with the Oceanic Hockey Olympic Qualifiers and the U-15 Oceanic Basketball Championships a bright future is in store for sports.