The Papua New Guinea athletics’ team is basing themselves on the Gold Coast. The team is in preparation for the upcoming World Athletics Cross Country Championships, as well as other International Meets in 2023.
Athletics Papua New Guinea would not have been able to do undertake this project without the support of the World Athletics Olympic Dividend Grant and the Gold Coast City Council.
The World Athletics AOD grant is given to Member Federations to conduct a project aligned to the World Athletics Strategic Plan. Athletics PNG have been conducting their project since 2019. Their grant was received to increase the number of distance runners in the lead up to the World Cross Country. First received in 2019, before the start of the pandemic, athletes have been based at the National Sports Institute, in Goroka, which is situated at 1600 metres above sea level. It has been an ideal base for the group prior to coming to Australia.
The Gold Coast City Council, through its sport attraction program, has proudly supported the training camp .
The Men’s team of 6 runners, has been housed at Oceania Athletics House, with the majority of their training runs being around Varsity lakes. Whilst the women’s team is based at Gold Coast Performance Centre.
For some of the team, its not their first time in Australia over the past few years, with 6 athletes competing at the Oceania Championships in Mackay in 2022. Whilst the group all has international experience with multiple Pacific Games Medals. This will be the first international competition for James Gundu since 2019, an athlete who is deaf, and shown immense talent and perseverance to get the level he has.
This will be the first time since 1998 PNG has been to the World Cross Country. PNG sent teams to the 1996 and 1998 editions of the World Cross Country. This will be the first time that they will have female representation at the World Cross Country, and the first time they will be entered and compete in the mixed relay.
The Gold Coast has offered several benefits to the group, including great training facilities as well access to competition and races. The Men’s group has been using Park Run each Saturday morning at Varsity Lakes.
With weekly competitions conducted by Queensland Athletics, it has been a great opportunity for the athletes to compete each week. These competitions cater to all athletes, and it has been great for the PNG team to have the opportunity to compete and World Rankings Competitions.
Whilst most of the athletes are here to run the World Cross Country, some of PNG top line technical event athletes are here on the Gold Coast as well to receive expert coaching and competition opportunities. Led by local coach Brett Green, who has been facilitating the training and competition for the whole group but coaching the technical athletes.
|Scholastica||Herman||World Cross Country|
|Ongan||Awa||World Cross Country|
|Mary||Tenge||World Cross Country|
|Dilu||Goiye||World Cross Country|
|Abel||Siune||World Cross Country|
|Israel||Takap||World Cross Country|
|Aquila||Turalom||World Cross Country|
|Siune||Kagl||World Cross Country|
|James||Gundu||World Cross Country|