PNG Pacific Games venues deteriorating

Rita Flynn Indoor Court

Termites are slowly and surely going about their usual daily business of rotting out the K54 million (US$15 million) worth state of the art Rita Flynn Indoor complex.

The venue known to be the home of PNG netball as well as housing other indoor sporting codes, has now turn into a termites turf as the floorings start to lose their quality without proper attention and refurbishment works being carried out by PNG Sports Foundation venue management.

Dating back to the 2015 Pacific Games, in just eight years, a number of Port Moresby’s major games venues have fallen into various stages of disrepair.

The most alarming state of deterioration can be seen at the once renowned multi-purpose Rita Flynn netball court. Termites have damaged the playing surface of the indoor courts.

To date, the venue stands in an acute state of deterioration and is unfit for its intended purpose.

The deterioration set-in after the sporting venue was used as a testing facility and to accommodate mild COVID-19 patients.

Mid-last year the venue had been looted, with thieves taking fire extinguishers and other vital equipment’s that belongs to the stadium.

It was reported that PNG Power cut off power to the venue in response to unpaid bills, totaling up to some millions.

“The worries over the present and the future of the stadium are only increasing.”

The netball venue has an administration block with change rooms which is being occupied by remaining COVID-19 equipment’s that are no longer in use.

Rita Flynn is the most recognised sporting facility in the country and the home of the national netball team – PNG Pepes.

The sporting facility was named after Rita Flynn who has played an important part in the establishment of PNG’s netball association.

Since it was developed, the sporting facility has hosted many national and international fixtures.

But to date it stands barren, particularly, the indoor courts, meaning the entire facility has been effectively closed down and remains off limits to the sporting organizers.

Last used in 2019, the complex was entirely deserted with users only using the outdoor courts to stage games.

The future of the sports precinct is also uncertain.

Post-Courier has been following up with authorities and the Minister responsible to get comment if there will be drastic approach taken to repair.

PNG Sports Foundation chief executive officer Albert Veratau earlier stated that the government through the National Executive Council had approved K10 million to upgrade sporting venues.

Despite having a shortfall in money for the refurbishment and upgrading of facilities, Veratau said adjustments had been made in order for the venues and other necessary infrastructure to be completed to a satisfactory level. “Once funding is available, we will upgrade four to five main venues that are already in a decent state.