Three Athletes Graduate from Iowa Central Jnr Col
PNG’s three track athletes who graduated from Iowa Central Junior College in the United States recently have all secured further two year scholarships to enable them to attend University and complete their degrees. Sharon Kwarula and Wala Gime will both be moving to Texas where they will attend different Universities, both of which participate in the NCAA Division Two Lone Star Athletic Conference.Kwarula , national record holder for the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles will attend West Texas A&M University whereas Mens 110m hurdle record holder Gime will attend Angelo State University. Cecilia Kumalalamene on the other hand will transfer this month to Ursuline College in Cleveland , Ohio where she will participate in the Cross Country programme as well as the indoor and outdoor track programme.
The trio went to the United States two years ago under the Oceania Foundation scholarship programme. The Foundation , chaired by IOC member Kevan Gosper seeks to promote the development of young athletes both educationally and through sport. The foundation has granted scholarships to athletes from a number of different sports including swimming and athletics. PNG’s John Rivan and Theo Piniau will be going to Iowa this month to begin their scholarships.
Athletics PNG President Tony Green said that the timing of this programme fits in well with the 2015 Pacific Games which will be held in July. “The US track season concludes in mid May so barring any injury problems the athletes should all be in peak form by May 2015 when they will return to PNG to join the team for its final preparations. Unfortunately the timing of this years Pacific Games in Wallis & Futuna makes it very difficult for Wala and Sharon” said Green . Although we have considered all ways of getting them to the Games, the (university) school year starts on August 26 and the Games are on from September 3 to 6 so we are now having to accept that they wont make it to Wallis. Piniau will however make it to Wallis but not Rivan who was ruled out last month after injuring himself competing at the NGI Championships in Kavieng