By Skola Sengi – EM TV, Port Moresby
While Port Moresby is gearing up to host the Pacific Games in July, major sports competitions in Port Moresby are left without venues.
The Bisini Parade that houses the Rita Flynn Courts for netball, Digicel Diamonds for softball, Telicom Park for soccer, Amini Park for cricket and AFL, Lloyd Robson Oval for rugby league and Monier Rugby Park for rugby union are now forced to either postpone respective seasons or look for alternative venues as host.
Port Moresby Rugby Football League have already secured the Murray Barracks ovals, which have been fenced off for security and crowd control; the AFL Oval has been converted into ground 2 since the Southern Cup tournament in December last year.
The University of Papua New Guinea will be the host for softball season and this year’s cricket will continue at the Amini Park nets as indoor cricket.
Capital Rugby Union, the Port Moresby Soccer Association, Esi Loan Premier AFL, Touch Footy and Netball are yet to confirm venues to host annual competitions.
There is an urgent need for support to upgrade minor public sporting venues that have deteriorated, and develop them to be conducive to hosting these annual competitions.
Current venues to host competitions are Unagi Oval at Gordons, Hohola Ipi Park in Hohola, Kone Tigers Oval in Waigani, and Taurama Barracks Ovals.
However, without proper fencing and ablution blocks, these venues have played host to minor off-season tournaments, but remain questionable to host annual sports competitions.