As the road to the 2015 Pacific Games continues, SP Brewery announced its support for the ‘Gold Athletes Programme’ with the first three athletes announced under the K1 million in funding. .

The first three athletes to be confirmed for funding support through the Gold Athletes Programme are Betty Burua, Abigail Tere-Apisah and Jack Viyufa. The programme will be a boost towards their preparations to the Pacific Games.

Joining in the announcement of the Gold Athletes Programme, PNGOC’s Secretary General Auvita Rapilla said the individuals selected are as the name suggests Gold athletes.

“They are the athletes that our country is expecting to lead the gold medal charge next year at the Pacific Games. But in order for our athletes to perform at their best, they need to prepare at their best,” said Mrs Rapilla.

The Gold Athletes Programme offers selected Team PNG elite level athletes the possibility to obtain much needed financial assistance related to their training, coaching and other sport related requirements.

“It is through that sponsorship that SP Brewery has also once again shown its commitment to supporting PNG’s best. And why not, SP Brewery has demonstrated both nationally and globally that they are the best at what they do. Gold is something SP is very familiar with; they have won gold themselves on numerous occasions at international brewing competitions, “said Mrs Rapilla

“SP Brewery has always been on the forefront to PNG sports and is the longest sponsor of sport dating back to the early 1960’s. They know what it takes to become a gold medal winner which reflects in their business operations in the last 60 years.”

SP Brewery’s Sponsorships & Events Manager Abigail Popoitai said the Gold Athletes Programme is part of the K4 million platinum sponsorship that SP Brewery has made towards the Pacific Games.

Ms Popoitai did confirm that there will be other similar announcements of Gold Athletes under this programme.

Betty Burua Profile:

One of our premier track athletes, and someone very familiar with Gold at the Pacific Games. Betty won two gold medals at the 2011 Noumea Pacific Games, in the 400m hurdles and triple jump. She also won five gold medals at the 2013 Pacific Mini-Games.

Abigail Tere-Apisah Profile:

Together with her sister Marcia, won PNG’s first ever tennis gold in Noumea in the women’s double event. Since then Abigail has shown that she will be a firm favourite to win more gold in 2015 with her college form in the United States highlighting her prodigious talent.

Jack Viyufa Profile:

PNG’s champion bodybuilder won gold in Samoa in 2007 Pacific Games. In Noumea in 2011, Jack won two gold medals in his 75kg division and the other for the best overall bodybuilder.

PNG’s (South) Pacific Games Ranking:

2011    – ranked 3rd    –  Host country – Noumea, New Caledonia

2007    – ranked 5th    –  Host country – Apia, Samoa

2003    – ranked 4th    –  Host country – Suva, Fiji

1999    – ranked 5th   –  Host country – Agana, Guam

1995    – ranked 4th    – Host country – Papeete, Tahiti (French Polynesia)

1991    – ranked 1st    – Host country – Port Moresby, PNG

1987    – ranked 3rd    – Host country – Noumea, New Caledonia

1983    – ranked 4th    – Host country – Apia, Western Samoa

1979    – ranked 4th   – Host country – Suva, Fiji

1975    – ranked 3rd   – Host country – Agana, Guam

1971    – ranked 2nd   – Host country – Papeete, Tahiti (French Polynesia)

1969    – ranked 2nd   – Host country – Port Moresby PNG

1966    – ranked 4th   – Host country – Noumea, New Caledonia

1963    – ranked 2nd   – Host country – Suva Fiji

Pictured is one of the athletes under the programme Betty Burua.