Team PNG’s Chef de Mission responds to article titled 2015 PNG’s Pacific Games mastermind signs on

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Richard Kassman (left) receives Pacific Games baton from Prince Andrew Pic: Pacific Games 2015
Richard Kassman (left) receives Pacific Games baton from Prince Andrew Pic: Pacific Games 2015
Richard Kassman (left) receives Pacific Games baton from Prince Andrew Pic: Pacific Games 2015

Some of you may recall an article that appeared on abc.net which we republished here titled “PNG’s Pacific Games mastermind signs on to push for more medal success”.  You can see the article here again on this link http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-14/png’s-pacific-games-mastermind-signs-on-to-push/7025404.

Team PNG’s Chef de Mission at the 2015 Pacific Games, Richard Kassman, has responded to that article by putting things into proper perspective in that the recent 2015 Pacific Games success was a result of a planned commitment for success by many involved from the Government, coaches, managers, trainers, sponsors to even the families of the athletes.

Kassman added:

I take this opportunity to thank everyone that played a role in contributing to Team PNG’s success. The results were massive; it was a team effort and no one single person takes credit for this success.

Read the full media release below:

As Chef de Mission for Team PNG at the 2015 Pacific Games, I wish to outline the following facts in response to an article of Radio Australia dated 14th December 2015:

“2015 PNG’s Pacific Games mastermind signs on to push for more medal success – The Australian credited with masterminding host nation Papua New Guinea’s haul of 90 gold medals at the Pacific Games in July is staying on in the country”. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-14/png’s-pacific-games-mastermind-signson-
to-push/7025404

After winning the bid to host the 2015 Pacific Games in September 2009, both PNG Olympic Committee and PNG Sports Foundation at a workshop in 2010 developed and mapped out the “Grassroots to Gold” Strategy for Team PNG’s medal campaign. This strategy was two-fold which saw PNG Sports Foundation manage the Talent ID Program and PNG Olympic Committee manage its “Go for Gold (G4G)” Program.

Early 2011, guidelines of the G4G Program were shared with National Federations who with their national and expert coaches devised their own sport specific High Performance Plans and Budgets to achieve their medal targets for 2015.

The Talent ID and G4G programs commenced in August 2012 when funding from the Government of PNG kicked in. Over four years (2012-2015), funding for the G4G Program enabled national squads to participate in domestic and international camps; engage expert coaches, compete abroad in international competitions as well as host international competitions.

It must be noted that part of Team PNG elite squads lived and trained abroad funded by the G4G Program.

The High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) was one component of the G4G program established in July 2014 that provided support services to Port Moresby based athletes in Strength & Conditioning; Rehabilitation and Recovery; Physio and Massage Therapy; nutritional and sports psychology sessions; and Education programs for coaches and trainers.

Aaron Alsop was employed in February 2014 as High Performance Manager for PNG Olympic Committee’s High Performance Division with the major responsibility of setting up the HPTC and its services. We recognise his efforts and give him credit and other key staff (Athlete Performance Coach; Athlete Rehabilitation Coach and S &C coaches) in establishing this facility and the services it provides.

It is important to note that Aaron Alsop had no part in developing High Performance strategies for each sport and overall Team PNG Medal haul.

Team PNG numbered 650 athletes, 200 coaches, managers, support staff including HPTC, and 42 teams participated in all 28 sports at the 2015 Games. Many athletes lived and trained overseas, in and outside of Port Moresby. A large team including respective sports federations worked tirelessly for years in the lead up to July 2015, providing the foundation that got Team PNG’s unprecedented success.

I am obliged to put things in proper perspective to give credit to and do justice of many years of hard work and preparation put in by key organisations and individuals. Credit for Team PNG’s medal success at the 2015 Pacific Games was through a Team effort by:

– major funder Government of PNG;
– PNG Olympic Committee as manager of G4G Program;
– PNG Sports Foundation as manager of Talent ID program;
– National Federations and their national Coaches and managers that developed and managed their individual HP Programs;
– Team PNG General Management Team;
– Corporate Sponsors;
– PNGOC Board and Secretariat;
– Families and supporters of Team PNG; and
– Athletes of Team PNG who believed in themselves and excelled.

I take this opportunity to thank everyone that played a role in contributing to Team PNG’s success. The results were massive; it was a team effort and no one single person takes credit for this success.

Best wishes for the festive season and a successful 2016.

Richard Kassman
Chef de Mission
Team PNG – 2015 Pacific Games
Phone: 72760825

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