Athletes and officials from the Nimamar Local Level Government on Lihir Island in Namatanai, New Ireland Province, selected for Team New Ireland for the PNG Games later this year are baffled by their omission from the contingent.

The Provincial Games were held in Kavieng from August 26 to August 28, 2014. The PNG Games had been scheduled to begin on November 13, 2014 in Lae, Morobe Province, and would run for two weeks.
Player and official of the Nimamar dart team Ms Pauline Komgoi and other sporting officials in Lihir were questioning Team New Ireland officials for removing their names from the squad after they were selected, confirmed and had filled out their accreditation forms. It was understood that Lihir softball players also named in Team New Ireland had been removed from the squad. Ms Komgoi said: “It is an incredible decision. Lihir is the current PNG champion in dart, having won the crown in Madang last year during the National Championships. “Yet, we find our mixed double champions Herman Kamkam and Judith Hubert sidelined and so is the current singles champion, Alfie Luke. “This is not right and is very suspicious. In their places, Kavieng selectors have slotted in their own men and women. This is wrong,” Ms Komgoi said. “This is typical of people in Kavieng who look for excuses to bring their own people and relatives to the games.
“Their reasoning of misplaced accreditation papers has no standing whatsoever. We have all filled the forms and had our photos taken at the Peter ToRot Hall in Kavieng, and all our papers were returned to the officials.
“We were only asked to do medical checks back in Lihir and send them back to Kavieng, and we have done that,” Ms Komgoi said.

She said for some sporting codes, the necessary paperwork was sent through email to Team New Ireland general manager Joe Lumaris at his Kavieng Newcrest office. She claimed this ongoing practice had resulted in understrength teams going to the national games culminating in poor results New Ireland.  “Even phone calls and email queries sent to the officials have been unsuccessful; nobody seems to answer calls and reply to our queries because they have hidden agendas.
“Some of the officials know our contacts and, if the need arises in instances where we need to fill in new documents, they can easily contact us. But, no attempt has been made.” Ms Komgoi said the teams from Lihir had always met their own costs to and from Kavieng “without any assistance from the provincial authorities”. “We now call on Newcrest Mining Limited, the developer of the Lihir gold resources to seriously reconsider their ongoing sponsorship of Team New Ireland. “We also call on our Lihirian leaders and the landowners association to monitor the situation closely and act on our behalf should any assistance be provided when our Lihir players had been treated unfairly.” The outspoken Lihirian player and sports administrator said New Ireland would never progress through sports if such attitudes continue to be entertained. “New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan and the provincial administration should investigate and clamp down on this unsportsmanship behavior and malpractice,” Ms Komgoi said.

Dec 2014 Edition

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