Athletics PNG key office bearers Tony Green (President), Philip Rehder (Secretary) and Gordon Kapak (Vice President) were given a resounding vote of confidence at the Annual General Meeting held in Lae on 17 December. All were reelected unopposed at the meeting, along with committee members Sophia Marai and Philip Kamane. Treasurer George Moramoro did not seek reelection and was replaced by Nola Peni, however the election of Bernard Manau as the third Committee member ensures that East New Britain remains represented on the Committee. A total of nine out of the fourteen affiliates were represented at the meeting, with seven associations sending delegates and two appointing proxies.
Athletics PNG has released the final version of its 2017 Calendar of events with the initial draft having to be revised following the deferral of the 2016 PNG Games. Focus is now on the PNG Games in March and the main domestic programme then being in the second half of the year. “Experience has shown that our National Championships needs to be at least six months apart from the PNG Games said Secretary Philip Rehder, as the travel cost would otherwise be a problem for most teams. This means we can schedule the National Championships during the third term holiday and finalise our team for the Pacific Mini Games immediately after the Nationals”. Regional Championships are scheduled for August and September in the lead up to the Nationals.
The 2017 Oceania Championships will be held in Fiji and will include an Under 20 division instead of under 18 as in recent editions. “This will be a good opportunity to expose some of the young talent in the mens sprints that emerged in 2016 said . For PNG’s elite athletes, the Oceania Championships is a qualifying event for the World Championships in London.
Athletics PNG will also send a team to the IAAF World Relay Championships in the Bahamas in April to take part in 4*200m relays and the mixed 4*400m relay.” PNG will send its quota of one male and one female athlete to the Commonwealth Youth Games which will also be held in the Bahamas.