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Athletics PNG have expressed grave concerns to the Management of the Sir John Guise Stadium about serious damage to the track caused by measures taken to prepare the field for Rugby and Soccer Games.

Artificial turf left around the field holds water and blocks access to drains, thereby causing the synthetic track to lift from its base.

President Tony Green said these concerns had been raised with the former CEO in April 2019 and he was very disappointed to see during a recent visit that instead of being removed after each Game, the turf has been fixed to the track on a semi-permanent basis.

“Three lanes of the track are completely covered in the straights. The new track relaid in Lae for the 2014 PNG Games deteriorated very rapidly because of poor drainage and we are now seeing the same sort of damage in Port Moresby. The life of the track can be extended with proper care and maintenance” he said.

Some of these issues go back to the planning of the Sir John Guise Complex. Athletics doesn’t need a big stadium and there is evidence all over the world showing what happens to Athletics Tracks after a major Games when soccer and rugby are the only sports that can fill stadiums on a regular basis.

The kind of facility that was built in Kimbe for the PNG Games is ideal for Athletics and something like this could have been built at the Sir John Guise Stadium on what was the warm up area for the 2015 Games.

However that area was taken over by soccer immediately after the Games. The throwing cage for Athletics takes up a lot of space and gets in the way if you want to host ball games.

This was disassembled after the 2015 Games and left in pieces around the stadium complex, leaving no proper throwing venue in the City.

September 28, 2020