PNG Ready To Host Next Month’s Pacific Games

admin's picture

Renovated national stadium plays host to rugby match

By Malum Nalu, Peter Pusal and Henry Kario

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, June 15, 2015) – PNG Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko says Port Moresby is ready to host the Pacific Games, after 15,000 people enjoyed the new facilities at Sir John Guise stadium for the first time last Saturday.

As a bonus, the excited partisan crowd watched the Hunters come from behind to beat the South Logan Magpies 34-12 in a Queensland Cup rugby league match.

The Games opening ceremony will be held at the stadium on Saturday July 4.

Tkatchenko and National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop were overjoyed after the match as they walked across the road to a function at Vision City.

"We’ve just had a successful Hunters game, beat the Magpies before a capacity crowd of over 15,000 people. Unbelievable," he said.

"As you can hear from my voice, we were screaming, shouting, and crying.

"But it was something very special for our city and our country – as a test event for our venues and our infrastructure for the Pacific Games. Let’s bring it on. We are Games-ready," Tkatchenko said.

Acting Prime Minister Leo Dion was overwhelmed.

"The noise as I was driving past the stadium was overwhelming," he said. "It is a good sign and Papua New Guineans can celebrate."

Central and National Capital District Acting Police Commissioner Jerry Frank was pleased with how things tuned out because they were expecting a "more challenging" assignment for the police.

He thanked the people for behaving and staying out of trouble.

Pacific Games Organising Committee chief executive officer Peter Stewart told The National that the overwhelming response from the public was "Wow".

"We had a sold-out venue of 15,000 people for the Hunters game and besides the usual minor teething problems, all our processes ran smoothly," Stewart said.

"The whole idea of having a test event is to go through our systems and ensure that everything is running well.

"There will always be little problems but we were satisfied with how things went on the night.

"There were some really minor stuff such as the locks not working on one of the toilets. But there was nothing of concern."

He said the movement of people and security went without any hitches.

"We had a mag-and-bag process in place at the entry points so there was no alcohol, dangerous weapons of any sort and even cigarettes brought in," he said.

"The stands were filled to capacity and we had no issues whatsoever with the crowd. Any concerns about the safety of the structures, particularly the western and eastern stands, were dispelled. Those stands are structurally sound."

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment