Athletics PNG have released their calendar of events for 2021/2022 through to 2023.
Some main events for 2021 on the calendar include;
- National Series Meets 1-3 starting April 10 in Port Moresby
- PNG Air Highlands Momase Regional Championships at NSI Goroka from May 22-23
- National Series Meets 4-6 starting June 5 in Kimbe
- National Championships from June 25-28 in Kimbe
- Tokyo Olympic Games (Athletics 30 July ‐ 8 August)
- August 27‐29 PNG Air Southern Region Championships Port Moresby
- September 18 ‐ 20 PNG Air NGI Championships Venue TBC
- PNG Games in November at either Mendi or Port Moresby – TBC
Athletics PNG: Experience has shown that few teams can afford to travel to events in the lead up to a PNG Games hence the National Championships will be staged during the second term holiday.
Athletics PNG has begun rotating the event between Port Moresby and Kimbe as these are the only two centres with an all weather track. A new feature in 2021 will be additional events in Port Moresby (April 10 , 14 and 17) and Kimbe (June 5 , 7 and 24) to provide more competition opportunities for athletes being targeted for National representation in 2022.
Staging these events in April and June will assist athletes to prepare for the Championships, whilst PNG Air sponsored Regional events in the second half of the year will provide good lead up competition into the PNG Games.
“We hope to be able to live stream many of these National events this year” said Secretary Philip Rehder, following the successful trial of live streaming in 2020. “This was a new concept for us he added and we learned a few things” (The 2020 Live Stream was streamed successfully by PNGBUZZ TV)
With Covid19 still wreaking havoc on the international sporting calendar Athletics PNG is focussing on keeping its athletes busy so that they are ready when international competitions resume next year. With the distance squad training at Kerowagi in preparation for next years world cross country championships, we expect to be able to send athletes to the Oceania Trails Championships and the Oceania 10k Champs if indeed these events do go ahead this year said Rehder.
Meanwhile a decision is expected soon on the fate of the Oceania Athletics Championships which were originally scheduled for May. It seems unlikely that this event will proceed in 2021, due to the current difficult situation with international flights and quarantine requirements.
A number of educational programmes are also planned this year, with Coaching Courses in Kundiawa at the end of april and in Kimbe in June with the possibility of others being added in the second half of the year.
Athletics PNG also plans to conduct educational seminars for athletes around the major competitions,utilising its senior athletes, especially those who have undertaken the Team PNG HERO training.
Looking ahead to next year, APNG wishes to make it known to athletes that selection for the Pacific Mini Games and Commonwealth Games will not be based on one championships. “The 2022 National Championships will be staged in the second half of the year so we will be considering performances this year especially at the Nationals and PNG Games” said Rehder. “However athletes must maintain their form for obvious reasons and final selection trials in March next year will be a good measure of that” he added.