BY PETER SEVARA JR.
Media and Journalism Officer
High Performance Sport PNG
CORNELIUS PAPAU WATCHED ON WITH A HAPPY GLINT IN HIS EYE AS EXCITED UNIVERSITY STUDENTS LEAPED, DUNKED AND SCORED AMONGST A CACOPHONY OF MIXED CHATTER ECHOING OFF THE WALLS OF AN INDOOR GYM WHILE A 24-CHANNNEL MIXER PUMPED OUT LOUD LOCAL MUSIC CONNECTED THROUGH A MOBILE PHONE.
He could have taken the backseat and watched the proceedings from the comfort of the lofty spectator’s stands bordering the courts at the Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre but he had planned long and hard for this day to not feel uneasy.
September 20 marks the annual celebration of International Day for University Sport and Cornelius as the coordinator was overseeing events as they unfolded. He works fulltime as the Talent & Pathways Coordinator for High Performance Sport Papua New Guinea. In a bid to find talent; he accepted the challenge from his boss, Aaron Alsop to organize the event.
Five schools initially accepted the invite to participate but as the final week dawned, only one was confirmed. It was exams times for PNG schools and there was a huge question mark over everyone’s heads. But with just a few days to go three schools got back on track and one, International Training Institute, pulled out due to exam preparations.
The first school to arrive organized from both uniforms and manners was Don Bosco Technological Institute along Taurama road, an agency run institution looking to attain their University status next year. IEA TAFE, an international accredited institution came in unnoticed with a small number followed by bright yellow clad army from the Institute of Business Studies at six-mile.
UPNG then made an entrance with the biggest number led by Sport & Recreation Officer George Hoki. George is also the vice president for the PNG University Sport Association. IBS came in rushing nearly out of breath and went right into their warms ups as DBTI and IEA began the first games of the day.
Cornelius admits it was unnerving getting confirmations done a week ahead but eventually everything fell into place allowing the smooth flow of events. The day skipped excitedly along as the students got in the groove and were as usual - very competitive! As the day ended, any doubts soon vaporized like the unexpected morning rain that day.
Success came like the bright afternoon sun for teams like IEA who pulled a three from three win in Volleyball to be the first on the standings followed by DBTI, IBS and UPNG.
DBTI were rewarded for their organized manner with a tough win in Touch Footy followed by UPNG, IBS and IEA.
UPNG threw their weight around on the day to outplay DBTI, IBS and IEA for the top spot in Basketball.
When the day began, PNG Sports Foundation Executive Director Peter Tsiamalili Jnr encouraged students to take up sport in tertiary institutions as it is a way forward for Sport as a whole in PNG and thanked HPS PNG for hosting. Success comes at many levels but for that day, seeing Uni Sport revived was held at the highest.
For picture please visit the PNG Unigames Facebook page