The PNG Government has stood by its decision to give incentives to medal winners from the 2015 Pacific Games.
Yesterday Prime Minister Peter O’Neill also announced the government’s decision to provide K2,500 to each of those participants from Team PNG who unfortunately went home without a medal.
He made the announcement at the Team PNG celebrations which took place last night at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.
The festivities began with a motorcade from Jack Pidik Park, with members of TEAM PNG atop buses draped in the national colours.
After two weeks of regional competition and having won the 15th Pacific Games, it was time for Team PNG to start celebrations.
All athletes were present, with dignatries including Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, and the Minister for Sport and 2015 Pacific Games, Justin Tkatchenko also on hand. President of the PNG Sport Federation and Olympic Committee, Sir John Dawanincura, said these games were the most succesfull he has seen.
“[These were] our best results ever. 44 Gold medals in 1991, 48 Gold Medals in 2011 and in 2015, 88 Gold, 69 Silver and 60 Bronze,” Sir John said.
Chef de Mission Richard Kassman was a happy man, thanking the coaches, managers, organising committee, volunteers and everyone involved in the hosting of the games.
“You’ve been a really fantastic and amazing team to lead. We are number one in the Pacific,” stated Kassman.
Prime Minister O’Neill was also full of praise for the athletes.
“You have made us proud of your achievemen’s. Thank you on behalf of our country. You have lifted the pride of our nation,” O’Neill said.
And much to the delight of a majority of the athletes, the Prime Minister announced the government’s decision to also recognise the sacrifices made by the non-medal winners of Team PNG.
The celebration was open to the public and lured quite a number to join in the celebrations. The party continued with song performances by artists in the likes of Prote-J, Straky, the DJs and many others.