The PNGOC hopes schools will arrange their own activities this year ©PNGOC

The Papua New Guinea Olympic Committee (PNGOC) has encouraged schools to hold their own fun runs after the COVID-19 pandemic led to its annual event being called off for a second successive year.

The PNGOC launched a fun run back in 1983, with the event seen as a key fundraising opportunity for the organisation.

Funds are used to help the country’s athletes compete at major international events, such as the Olympic, Commonwealth and Pacific Games.

The organisation has been supported by Trukai Industries, which has sold fun run shirts at the event to help raise funds.

The PNGOC was forced to cancel the event last year for safety reasons amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisation said it would take a new approach this year, with smaller activities arranged to comply with COVID-19 measures in place.

Schools have therefore been encouraged to hold their own runs and walks by the PNGOC, which is seeking further support from companies to assist in the sale of t-shirts.

Sir John Dawanincura, the PNGOC President, told Papua New Guinea newspaper the Post Courier that support for the event will help fund athletes dreams to compete at the Olympic Games.

The fun run has typically raised funds to help athletes compete at major sporting events ©PNGOC
The fun run has typically raised funds to help athletes compete at major sporting events ©PNGOC

"We are appealing to corporate house through this launch to assist us and the sale of t-shirts are going for K10 (£2/$2.80/€2.30)," said Sir John.

"This will give the corporate sector the opportunity to advertise their brands on the t-shirts that they purchase and also help the school of their choice to sell the t-shirts.

"We will encourage respective schools to stage their own small events around the perimeter of their respective schools by staging their own walk.

"Every athletes has a dream and the pinnacle of their dream is to participate in the Olympic Games, our vision is to win a medal and we have to aim high, unless we don’t aim high, our dreams are just dreams.

"But we have that vision to win an Olympic medal, bronze will be good enough."

The fun run and sales of t-shirts are credited with supporting PNGOC athletes to attend seven Olympic Games to date.

The funds have also assisted in sending athletes to five Commonwealth Games, five Pacific Games and five Pacific Mini Games.