Former PNG Golf Representative, Darrie Nightingale, will officiate as the SP Sports Awards (SPSA) Guest Speaker this year, on Saturday, May 28th, 2022.
This was made known at the announcement of the SPSA Finalists, in Port Moresby on Monday 09th May 2022.
Nightingale, who is an avid golfer, is the second local talent to feature as a guest speaker, after Takale Tuna, who was the first Papua New Guinean athlete to grace the Awards Presentation Night last year.
Her appearance is special in that she was the first winner of the Female Athlete of the Year category when the SP Sports Awards ceremony was hosted in 1992. She is now the first local female sporting heroine to feature as a SPSA guest speaker, marking the Awards’ 30 years.
The former golfer is the widow of late papa Guria, John Nightingale, owner of the Agmark company and major sponsor of the local rugby league team, the Agmark Gurias. For many years, Nightingale and her late husband supported community sports throughout PNG.
She started playing golf in 1976 after the birth of her first child, James.
“I started in June of 1976 and never looked back,” said Nightingale.
Since then, she has had many successes at different levels in golf; both locally in the clubs she was part of, both in PNG and Australia. These include:
Following the volcano eruption in 1994, the New Britain Open was moved to Kokopo where Darrie continued her winning streak from 1995 to 2006.
“In 1994, I took my youngest son Steven to Brisbane to play in the World Masters,” Darrie recalls.
“My children (James, Steven, and Nemika) caddied for me on the last day of the games where I won the gold medal.”
“In 1991, PNG played host to the South Pacific Games. We played golf in Lae where I won the gold medal in the singles and my team also won Gold in the team’s category along with my teammates Sagi Seko from Madang and late Rosemary Munaga from the Port Moresby Golf Club.”
After moving to Sydney, Darrie joined the Castle Hill Club and Asquith Golf Club. She was club champion for both clubs.
“I won medals including gold in the Pan Pacific Games and Asia Pacific Masters Games, Gold Coast.”
The Awards Presentation will be hosted virtually from the home of the SPSA, Crowne Hotel, on Saturday 28th May 2022. It will be streamed live to the people of Papua New Guinea on the SP Sports Awards Facebook page.