As part of global celebrations to commemorate the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), the PNG Olympic Committee took part in a series of events emphasizing the value of sport and the benefits of staying active under the theme of the 2017 IDSDP “Time to Get Moving”.
The day kicked off with a fun sports based session at Coronation Primary School with over 145 grade 4 and 5 students. Team PNG athletes, Linda Pulsan, Dianne Vetu, Cosmas Saliawali and Nathan Bennet joined Cricket PNG and PNG NRL representatives to run several fun interactive sporting activities for the children.
The session began with the students listening intently as Vetu and Puslan talked to them on the Olympic Values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship and the positive impact sport has had on their own lives.
There were then smiles and cheers from the students as they experienced a range of sporting activities from fun cricket games to basic rugby league skills as well as karate demonstrations. Amongst the children and also with a smile on her face as she participated in the cricket and karate activities was PNGOC Secretary General and member of the IOC Commission for Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport, Auvita Rapilla.
Team PNG Touch representative Vetu said IDSDP was a special day and to celebrate the importance of being active and the value of sport with the kids at Coronation Primary was a great way to give back what sport has given her.
“I enjoy sharing my sporting experiences with the kids and talking to them about the Olympic Values and letting them know how valuable it is for them to be active and take part in sporting activities.” Vetu said.
To continue the day, PNGOC was happy to join staff from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and lead a sports session reflecting the IDSDP theme and Olympic Values. With a global partnership between the International Olympic Committee and the United Nations, PNGOC is working with the UN in PNG to use sports as an enabler for human development and a tool to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The joint activity with UNDP followed on from a session held the day before where Team PNG Netball representative Lua Rikis shared her story with the staff. Rikis talked about the amazing feeling of representing her country, her personal development through sport and how the realization of her ability to influence others has positively impacted on her own path in life. She has taken on the task of promoting the SDGs in PNG with a specific focus on SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation.
The day’s activities are part of PNGOC’s on-gong efforts to use sport as tool for development and inspire and unite Papua New Guineans through sporting excellence and success.