The Oceania Athletic Association successfully delivered a Starters Course last weekend at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in Goroka.
Eight participants from the Pacific, and eight from PNG took part where they learnt the technical details involved in successful race starting.
"The NSI provided an ideal venue for the course, and this, combined with perfect weather and a competition for the participants to practice what they were being taught made it a hugely enjoyable and successful weekend for all involved."
Athletics PNG Secretary Philip Rehder who coordinated the course with his colleague NSI based Philip Kamane thanked the NSI Director and her staff for the wonderful hospitality afforded to the visitors.
“Athletics is the first sport to benefit from the facelift being given to the Institute,” said Rehder.
The NSI is currently undergoing renovations and one of the dormitory blocks was completed on time for overseas visitors to enjoy.
“It was nice to be able to host our Oceania colleagues in a newly renovated dormitory. The visitors were quite taken aback by the treat that was in store on Sunday evening’s presentation with UOG students from Bougainville providing entertainment with their traditional bamboo band and singing,” he said.
Participants were able to practice their skills on the field during the weekend with a good number of athletes present for the Highlands Momase Regional Championships.
Course presenter Peter Sinfield thanked the athletes and the local technical officials for the part they played in the successful delivery of the course.
The competition also provided a good opportunity for several members of the team selected for the Pacific Games to have a good competitive workout and the mens 1500m and 10,000m races in particular were very good.
Simbai kaspar won a very competitive mens 1500m in 4min 17secs whereas Siune Kagl proved too strong in the 10,000m, running away from Kaspar with four laps to go and clocking an amazing 65 second last lap. His time of 34 min 20 seconds is the best seen at the high altitude of Goroka for many years.