The University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) has a strong tradition of competitive inter faculty sport.
In 2021 the inaugural Unity Sports Tournament was developed as a way to unite and engage students from across all schools within the university after the pandemic. The event was a success and is now an annual feature on the UPNG event calendar.
The 2022 Unity Sports tournament was held at the end of June and attracted over 700 participants across the sports of Soccer, Touch Football, Rugby League, Volleyball, Netball, Tennis and Athletics events including sprints, middle distance and relays.
Students from university departments organised their teams to complete in the event with the School of Business crowned the champion school for 2022.
George Hoki is the sports officer on campus and worked tirelessly with his team of volunteers to deliver the event. “The sports competitions are part of a month long set of programs that include debates, a talent show as well as sports. The event provides something for everyone and encourages participation, regardless of your sporting ability” says Mr Hoki.
Mr Hoki adds “the sports competitions have been a way to promote the benefits of sport and activity and how sports can contribute to the positive health and wellbeing of students on campus. It has also provided connection and networks for the students involved”.
Student leader Abigail Mai is studying business and enjoys the connections made at the event. “The friends you make through playing sport at university can provide great connections in the corporate world after you graduate” says Ms Mai.
Student leader Malaki Mirou is studying law and agrees with Ms Mai re the importance of connections. “Not only is the sport great for our health and fitness, but it also allows us to make strong connections that will benefit us once we graduate” says Mr Mirou.
The event was supported by the National Sports Federations of each sport who provided the officials for the competition. The Federations see university sport events such as the Unity Sports Tournament as a way to increase the experience of their officials and referees.
Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation provided medical assistance which enabled their staff to gain valuable on ground event experience.
The University of Papua New Guinea is located in Port Moresby – the capital of Papua New Guinea and was established in 1965. The university has over 15,000 students studying across five academic schools; business and public policy, law, humanities and social sciences, medicine and health sciences, natural and physical sciences. For more information on the university, visit their website.
The UPNG Staff Games will be held in November 2022.
Photos in this story taken by Narun Herbert and UPNG staff
UPNG Unity Sports Tournament:
2022 faculty winners – School of Business
2021 faculty winners – School of Humanities