Lindsay Pulu, a former PNG Softball international and current president of Lae softball made the remarks, adding the situation was out of PNG’s control.
Pulu made the comments after the PNG Softball president Ralph Tarasomo came out in the media last week to confirm that PNG has been dropped from the Samoa Games and have rather set their focus on two international tournaments.
He said with the international events slotted for this year, it was great but the success of PNG pulling it rests in the securing of corporate or government backing to ensure the selected playing group has the appropriate training and lead-up matches to ensure PNG is competitive.
Pulu said with PNG absent from the international stage for an extended period they may struggle to be competitive but that should not stop them from attending and doing their best.
He urged softball in PNG to also look at other regional events closer to home to invest in the country’s younger playing group, whether it is in Queensland or Asia.
“I think our focus should be on the rebuilding of our codes infrastructure, bringing investment in running clinics for existing and interested coaches, scorers, umpires as these form the backbone of a vibrant sport and we cannot do without these critical technical expertise,” Pulu said.
“Our other focus should be in rollout of junior development to all associations. For example, the rollout of tee ball at schools to cater for the U-8 to U-10, the introduction of the U-16 boys and girls competition and the association level to ensure we maintain our young playing group in the sport of softball.
“Currently, we lack the above mentioned and lose our youth to the established codes being soccer (NSL), AFL, rugby league to name a few as they have development programs and incentives in place.”
“Our focus in my opinion should be in junior development and technical training to be run at the provincial level.
“We should work to developed partnerships with the provincial sports offices, the provincial government sport office to sell our programs and seek their assistance as I believe that is what they are set up to do, support every single sporting code, not only a handful where the sports administrators have an interest in,” Pulu said.
He said another major hurdle is the lack of sports administration knowledge, the skill set to develop strategic plans for a three to five year period.
“Without a road map how do we measure where we are and where we want to get to,” he said.