Saturday 30 September marked the beginning of a new relationship between Athletics PNG Inc and the PNG Sports Foundation through the National Sports Institute with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.  Under the MOU the parties will work together to develop the content knowledge and best practised skills of the Sport of Athletics to the next level targeting PE Teachers, coaches, trainers and athletes. PNG Sports Foundation Director of Major Events and Marketing John Susuve was on hand to sign the MOU on behalf of the Executive Director, along with APNG President Tony Green.

Talks have already been held with the University of Goroka and with the MOU now signed, APNG will provide the course materials for the Human Movement Studies branch of NSI to make a submission to the University for teaching. It is anticipated that if all goes well a limited number of promising athletes will be identified through APNG’s own High Performance Division and NSI activities to enrol at what will become a National Sports Academy, with enrolment complying with the set procedures of Stem 101 and the TVET Institute of UOG.  The Sport of Athletics has a long history of combining training programmes with education, both domestically and internationally

In signing the MOU Mr Susuve said that the Foundation was very happy to work closely with National Federations and especially a sport like Athletics which, being a key sport for PNG on the International Stage, lifts the profile of the country.  He said the MOU strengthens the development pathway for our athletes and the Foundation wants to see sports like Athletics making use of the NSI facilities.

APNG President Tony Green said that NSI is the logical place for our athletes to train because of its central location, great climate and the training and accommodation facilities. He said he hoped that the Government will see the benefit in upgrading the facilities instead of focusing all its efforts on infrastructure in Port Moresby. He thanked NSI Director Janet Gimots for her understanding of the Athletes needs and support for athletics programmes at NSI since taking over her role a couple of years ago. Apart from the pursuit of tertiary education programmes, APNG and NSI plan to reintroduce the scholarship programme whereby a small number of quality developing athletes will relocate to NSI and attend high school.

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