By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online
The announcement by Team PNG’s High Performance Manager, Aaron Alsop, of zero tolerance on nepotism and favouritism in selections, has been well received by sports men and women, and avid sports enthusiasts, around the country.
Alsop made these remarks during his address at the combined Athletes Forum and 2015 PNGOC National Coaching Conference, at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby on Saturday 10 January.
Whilst admitting that nepotism and favouritism have plagued the selections of athletes in the past; he says that such practises would not be allowed, and made to affect the selections processes of the national selections of men and women who will represent Papua New Guinea in July.
This gives equal and fair treatment to all eligible athletes, to be selected by merit; which will ensure that Team PNG to the 2015 Pacific Games is comprised of only the ‘best’ that Papua New Guinea has to offer, in sports.
Alsop outlined the roles, responsibilities and expectations of coaches, trainers, team managers and other sporting officials. He also explained selections criteria and processes that would be followed.
In the past, often unconfirmed reports were made in the sporting fraternities, of wantokism or wantok system at play, where selections were concerned. Wantokism or the wantok system greatly impacts every aspect of Melanesian society, and life in Papua New Guinea.
The hands of wantokism are said to be long and wide; whether it be in sports, business, education, employment, and other areas of PNG society. And too often, output and productivity is compromised when unqualified and unsuitable persons are selected through the wantok system.
For sports representative duties, and as the host nation for the games, it is crucial for athletes to also maintain professional and ethical standards, in the build-up to the games and during the two-weeks long event.
This was highlighted by Team PNGs Chef de Mission, Richard Kassman. He said that the image they present must also be a reflection of how much effort has been put to their development and presentation.
Athletes have very high expectations riding on their shoulders; and with a home crowd, the pressure to perform to their best, is immense.
Personal conduct and behaviour of all sports men and women will be kept-in-check by sporting officials, no doubt; and with the intensity of preparations for all sporting codes, the nation will be keeping a close watch to see and hear of the national team, who will fly the colours of PNG, come July.
Read other articles
National Athletes Forum Staged in Port Moresby