By Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sport, Goroka
From the 6th PNG Games in November, outstanding performers with much promise to become the nation’s best athletes were selected to join the athletics camp at the National Sporting Institute in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.
The focus of this 55 squad, comprised of both male and female athletes, is on up-skilling and improving their techniques, developing their mind-set and educating them on the importance of being an athlete.
While this camp will be of great benefit to the athletics fraternity, there are a number of obstacles that lay ahead, in which athletics coach in camp, Phillip Newton say’s will be his greatest challenge yet.
“Athletes are developed over 3-4 years, we’ve got just 6 months to develop this young group of talent,” said Newton.
Bringing these athletes up to medal contending standards is what he will prosper to do with the very little time he has.
Athletics has been identified as the sport expected to reel in the most number of medals at the 2015 Pacific Games.
Newton said “some of these guys won’t win gold medals, but they’ll make it to medal contending stages, they have the potential.”
From this 55 men and women training squad, a final athletics team will be selected following the National Championships, expected to be held in Lae next year, prior to the 2015 Pacific Games.