Posts Categorized: Sport

Katua in Rio to chase Olympic dream

835-thadius-katuaBy Simon Belu

Bougainvillean boxer Thadius Katua is getting himself prepared for the toughest assignment of his life as he brushes up his skills for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The 19-year-old Carteret Islander is currently in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with Team PNG training under the watchful eyes of coaches Joe Aufa and Allan Nicolson before the games commence with the opening ceremony on Friday 5 August.

Katua’s ticket to Rio came through the tripartite qualification which are awarded to athletes who show promising potential in certain sports who miss out on qualification through mandated Olympic qualification events.

Katua with his Team PNG peers Katua with his Team PNG peers

Katua won gold medal in the 60kg division at last year’s Pacific Games contributing to PNG winning 8 of the 13 gold medals that were on offer for boxing at the Games.

He also received the 2016 SP Sports Award for Westpac Junior Male Athlete of the Year

But his biggest achievement so far in his career is when he made history winning PNG’s first gold medal at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa last year.

Katua has the whole of Bougainville and the rest of Papua New Guinea behind him as he pursues his dream.

Katua won gold at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa Katua won gold at the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa
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Team AROB gears up for PNG Games

By Ishmael Palipal

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Team Autonomous Region of Bougainville has begun its preparations for the 2016 Papua New Guinea Games, which will be held from 24 November in West New Britain.

In 2014, Team AROB came fourth in the 6th PNG Games that were held in Lae, Morobe Province. It was one of the biggest achievements from the region has ever seen since the end of the civil war.

Without proper sporting equipment and facilities, placing fourth out of 22 provinces was a great result for Bougainville.

This year, Team AROB is confidently looking forward to push the ceiling a little higher in Kimbe Town, West New Britain.

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In preparation for the event, sports committees have been recently holding selections in Buka and Arawa Town.

Last week Buka hosted boxing and kick boxing selections at Buka Town, while in Arawa there were soccer and field tracks selections.

One of the gold medalists from the last games, a kickboxer, stated that he is confident that he will go for gold this coming PNG Games. He also stated that his colleagues also have that positive feeling about this upcoming event.

They are looking forward to bringing more gold home for the region.

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New Tabago mission house to be funded through games

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

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Tabago Parish in Buin, South Bougainville is preparing to host a games festival to raise funds for a new mission house.

There are plans for the new mission house to be constructed opposite the huge church building, since the old one is derelict and must be dismantled.

The new mission house will be used especially by priests, church workers, sisters, and other lay workers of the parish.

Community fundraising was also crucial to the construction of the giant church building, which is considered the biggest church building in Bougainville.

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The games will get underway on 21 June and will comprise of soccer, volleyball, taekwondo, boxing and athletics.

People from lower and upper Konnou have been encouraged take part in any sporting codes.

Soccer and volleyball teams in Kugala have started training in advance while the other teams will begin this week.

“The overall idea is to contribute funds to erect a new building and remove the old one that is risky to be used,” said Mr Soow, the captain of Teem Kugala.

Team Meira and Siupa are trying to form one single team to challenge all the soccer teams that are coming for the competition.

Tabago Primary School teachers have taken responsibility for organising the event.

Mr Soow stated that he wants to see competitive teams so that players will be selected to Buin town in December this year. He said that Team Tabago, which represented us last month in Buin, was defeated by Malabita Sharks, the current champions of Buin.

 

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Wisai volleyball team goes unbeaten

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

Grand final playoff at Ugubakogu Primary School Grand final playoff at Ugubakogu Primary School

Wisai volleyball team was unbeaten during Christmas holiday and the January games.

The team was formed in Oura village, a few kilometres from Oria and Paghui hamlets, and they represent Wisai in outside volleyball competitions.

This team won a couple of games in Arawa and few of its members were selected to compete in the upcoming ABG games.

Oura volleyball team won the gold medal in the Konnou Peace Cup after it was left unbeaten after more than ten competitive teams across the whole constituency. Team members were recommended as the heroes by the games organising committee; they are outstanding players in comparison to other teams.

“They humble themselves in preparation to tournaments, a spokesperson said, “they gave up drinking alcohol and spent most of their time training.”

“They could get enough rest every single day, that is one important factor which contributes to their victories whenever they go for competition.”

The Konnou Peace Cup the volleyball grand final was between Oura and Koogu-lower Konnou. Oura beat Koogu and worn all the sets in the grand final playoff. Koogu was the minor premier team in the first segment, but were beaten after challenging Oura.

It was fascinating that Wisai has got a new impressive team with young and energetic players.

“Bougainville need such players to represent the region outside the region; we need young and energetic players,” a spokeswoman said.

“They are our kids and we would like to see them competing with other outside teams.”

The crowd witnessed their captain as he tossed their prize high above their heads. The team celebrated from the stage to their camping zone. They did the same at Arawa after winning a grand final playoff. This team will remain heroes until a team can catch up to them, if possible.

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Nomororai receives Taekwondo facilities

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

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Team Nomororai in the lower Konnou was the leading team in Taekwondo during the Konnou Peace Cup and the team was awarded with more than eight gold medals. They were also unbeaten at other tournaments in Muguai and Mongai.

Their outstanding performance convinced Taekwondo technical offices to present training facilities to Team Nomororai.

The number of Taekwondo players is increasing like wild fire and assessors and referees of Taekwondo commented that Team Nomororai fully possessed the skills for playing Taek.

“It is becoming a tradition and a main sport in many parts of the region,” said the one coach.

At first volleyball and soccer are the two main games, but now many are moving away from those games. Most of the youth members are recruiting to attend the classes.731-buin-taekwondo

“Taekwondo severs two purposes: it is important for self-defence and also it help us to be physically fit,” said one high school student, explaining the reason so many favour the sport.

The students are told by their trainers to be gentle, patient and control their emotions every day.

“Do not hurt people using taekwondo skills and do not threaten people with the skills,” said the coach of the team in Ugubakogu during the presentation.

“You only use the skills when you are in danger.”

The training facilities will help a lot when it comes to training; the players are now looking forward to challenging players from other clubs.

More players will be selected in the coming tournaments within the constituency; after the selection a final list will be put up for players that will represent the area in the games outside the constituency and Buin as a whole.

Senior competitors like Junior Momis, one of the gold medal winners in the Konnou Peace Cup will be competing outside of Buin in the second quarter of 2016.

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New soccer association brings Konnou youths together

By Benjamin Heribeth Noibio

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A soccer association has been formed in Konnou with the aim of uniting youths and providing a positive engagement for their spare time.

Life in Konnou depends upon the youths; it is the youth that try to bring changes in the communities today and it also is the youth who, if not positively engaged, can easily deteriorate the situation.

Chiefs, church elders and the Konnou Peace Committee identified that the Youth. Peace Committee can be the root of bringing peace and unity in Konno and chiefs are now employing strategies that involves and unite this key group.

A first step towards peace and unity is through games to bring people regardless of gender, age and number together to socialise. Youth in Konnou currently are concentrating on games; they feel free to move around and participate in the different sporting codes. It is part of counselling the youths whom have lost most of their minds in the Konnou conflict.

With this mentality of socialising youths a soccer association was formed in Tabago mission.

Youths from lower and upper Konnou were welcomed to participate. This season will be continued until the end of the year to keep them busy.

Sports also require a person to be physically and mentally fit; in this case the games organising committee is trying to educate the youth to be healthy and physically fit and stand against the influences of drugs and alcohol.

“It is happening; I can see some change in the community unlike before,” said a village councillor.

He said that music and sport are the most obvious entry points for bringing peace and unity to Konnou at this point of time.

“This will be more than just the game,” he continued.

Soccer and volleyball are the codes that need to be standardised in other to compete with other players apart from Konnou.

Taekwondo players are now standardised and are prepared to challenge outside the constituency. The number is increasing every month with primary and high school students enrolling in taekwondo classes run by a Mr Siang a black belt holder in Taekwondo.

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Konnou running prodigy targets ABG Games success

By Benjamin Heribeth Noibio

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A new record was made for marathon runners in during the 4th Konnou Peace Cup.

Tadius Raina, a young man from Wisai, won the gold medal for the 42 kilometres running. Last year Raina awarded twice last year for victories and now has a total of 3 gold medals for long distance runs.

Raina started running in the mountains of Wisai some years back. At that time he ran because there is no transport to go up to his place. His continuous running became habitual and since then he never got worried about transport to go up to the mountains. He could run up to the mountains and come back in the evening to Loluai where his family use to reside.

“Practice makes perfect,” Raina said.

Raina won his first gold medal in marathon in Kulula last year; he was then selected to go to Arawa during the Trukai Fun Run where he won another gold medal for first placing and the latest gold was awarded during the Konnou Peace Cup. Raina has now qualified to represent Konnou in the coming ABG Games in Wakunai this year.

One official from the Konnou Peace Cup even suggested that Raina is the hero who will replace the late John Kokinai, a runner from Konnou who broke the Papua New Guinea record before his death. John Kokinai was from Vauluaku in the Konnou constituency and he remained unbeaten until he passed away.

Raina though remains relaxed and unfazed by the expectations placed upon him.

“I do not feel anything when I am running, I can still run for kilometres,” Raina said on his arrival.

“I feel that I will be competing well in the coming ABG games in Wakunai.”

Apart from Raina, there are young athletes who were awarded with gold medals, many of them students who will soon be travelling out to other provinces to further their studies, this cause confusion to the games organising committee.

The committee will bring this matter for discussion in Buka with the technical officers to come up with a better solution that will enable the students to still take part when they return home.

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Bougainville Motorcross revives glory days of bikie culture

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In some parts of the world ‘bikies’ are synonymous with anti-social behaviour, but in Bougainville the opposite is true as motorcycle enthusiasts from throughout the region are joining forces the promotion of peace and unity.

Many people still reminisce about the glory days of Bougainville motorcycle racing in the pre-crisis era. Races such as the Kumo Crusher saw locals, who were often self-taught, compete against international competitors. The Bougainville Motorcross Association is working to revive the bikie passion that has long been dormant, but not extinct, for many people.

 

BMC has provided many people, including ex-combatants, the opportunity to become involved in a positive activity.

In 2015 the BMC orchestrated a number of training sessions, tours and fundraising events.

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The organisation has is also leading the creation of tracks in Bougainville, including the revival of the Kumo Crusher course at Itakara.

BMC offers guided backcountry tours for daring tourists to see the magnificent remote parts of Bougainville.

2016 will hopefully see the BMC complete most ambitious initiative. The association is looking to undertake is a ride for peace. This ride will see BMC unite with the Port Moresby Motorcycle Club and Lae Motorbike Club for an epic tour around Bougainville to foster positive relations and demonstrate the progress of Bougainville.

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Fifth anniversary of peace to be celebrated in Konnou

671-konnou-crisis-gamesBy Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

At the end of 2007 the Konnou Conflict began with factions arising within the constituency itself. The faction known as WILMO (Wisai Liberation Movement), Konnou Freedom Fighters and Mekamui Deference Force (MDF) vied for power and control in the constituency.

The factions broke the constituency into pieces causing confusion in the minds of the people; lack of law and order made the situation worse.

In Early in 2008 the close down of the Buka–Buin Highway ceased services to the area and civilians suffered the most.

Women and children lacked health and education services.

I did not have a choice of freedom so I joined the faction that was domination our area; I had to live with the ones living in the bushes of Leulo Mountain without calculating the consequences of it.

I joined the MDF who were always going to and from of our camp site in the mountains of Kaitu.

By Christmas 2007 I had a message that I was selected to continue to grade 9 at Buin Secondary School. I appreciated the offer but the situation did not allow me to appear at the school.

Buin Freedom Fighters chased some Konnou students at Buin Secondary just before I was to pack my things and go. As soon as I got the message of what was happening in Buin, I turned my back and fully joined the MDF.

In the middle of February 2008, I left everything behind and went to Bishop Wade Secondary School in North Bougainville. I made my choice to get education rather than holding rifles that has no benefit but death at the end. I was fortunate to get registered as a non-selected student in Bishop Wade.

The conflict took almost five years to exist until the peace committee formed by chiefs, church elders, youth leaders and women’s leaders took a stand to end the bloodshed in Konnou.

The negotiation took almost two years with disagreement of all the factions regarding the loss of young people’s lives, both soldiers and civilians. The Konnou Peace Committee finally won the hearts of the fighters in all the factions.

On 29 November 2011, the negotiation between the factions succeeded with the agreement of ending the conflict in Konnou. Early on that day all the factions gathered in Mogoroi with representatives from ABG and the United Nations.

More than 1,000 witnesses from Konnou and other constituencies were present. It was a day of pain, sorrow and happiness as the freedom which the people so longed finally came.

The factions reconciled with forgiveness and humble heats; a monument was planted to mark the day of Konnou reconciliation and the ending of the so called Konnou Conflict. The monument (called IMI in Buin language) was planted as a shrub but now it has grown and can be seen clearly on the Mogoroi road.

Each year the day is remembered and celebrated with events like games, music (pictured:Band member practicing at Moroanamanu Village-Upper Konnou), traditional dances, and remembrance speeches.

This year the constituency will celebrate the 5th anniversary of the peace. The celebration will be marked with the Konnou Peace Cup, with local people compete in sporting competition.

The Member for Konnou, Hon. Willie Masiu, has taken the lead in organising the event and the announcement was hosted at Ugubakogu Primary school. Athletes from both Lower and Upper Konnou are preparing to socialise in games such as volleyball, soccer, marathon, bicycle race and rock show.

“This will be one means of peace and unity in the constituency,” said Maverick one of the athletes. Youth members were glad to see their new member taking the lead in uniting the people through the games.

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Trukai Cup brings Buin youth together

By Benjamin Heriberth Noibio

Buin United achieved third place in the women's draw. Buin United achieved third place in the women’s draw.

The Trukai Cup, a football (soccer) tournament held in Buin, gathered many competitors together from many different constituencies.

The participants in the event, which was officially opened on Monday 9 November, were mainly youths, both males and females.

The official opening was attended by officials from Trukai industry and Leo Lua, a private businessman from Buin is sponsoring the games. Mr Lua owns Parira Trading in Buin town, which has an arrangement to sell Trukai products in Bougainville.

Though the sports men and women in Buin play many different sporting codes, the Trukai Cup is only for football. The cup is about more than the game though; it brings youths from different constituencies to come together and socialise, bringing peace and unity to the area.

“There are 34 teams for both male and female, said Mark Tomitom, a student at the University of Papua New Guinea.

“Male teams are using the field at Buin Secondary School, while female teams are using the playing field in Buin town.”

677-trukai-cup-buinBuin town is full with players from all over Buin district and the villagers who brought food to sell are benefiting from the influx of people.

They said that the demand for food is higher than normal days

“Most of the people on the coast are selling fish to the players,” Mr Tomitom continued, “we are eating fish all the time, day after day; this game brings Christmas cheers in Buin.”

The games were completed on Sunday 15 November and, of the 34 teams that competed, eight teams have received prizes for finishing in the top four places. Fourth place teams received K500, third won K1000, K1500 for second and the winning team were awarded K2000.

In the women’s draw the Kumuls defeated Buin Secondary in the grand final and Buin United won the third place playoff, receiving K1000 for their efforts.

Buin Secondary were unlucky again on the men’s side as the Malabita Sharks defeated them in the final to win the cup.

Most of the players will vacate Buin town this week and go back to their various places. The games brought Unity to Buin town and will this will remain in people’s memories for years to come.

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