TEMPO.CO, Papua – Papua will once again benefit from Indonesian media attention as it will host the 16th National Para Games (Peparnas) from November 2-15 after its great success in calling the 20th National Games (PON) from October 2-15.
Unlike PON, which featured 37 events taking place in Jayapura City and Jayapura, Mimika and Merauke Districts, Peparnas is only co-hosted by Jayapura City and Jayapura District, and offers 12 events.
If PON were joined by at least 6,400 athletes and 3,500 officials from 34 provinces across Indonesia, the Peparnas would only be followed by 1,935 athletes and 740 officials from all provinces.
Athletes will compete in weightlifting, Celebral Palsy football, judo, badminton, track and field, chess, shooting, swimming, archery, boccia, table tennis and wheelchair tennis to earn medals for their provinces.
One of the athletes competing in the Papua Para games is Leani Ratri Oktila, the Indonesian para-badminton player who won two gold and one silver at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Different provinces have prepared the departure of their athletes for Papua. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan, for example, reported on October 29 the contingent from the capital to the Plaza Amphitheater in the Ragunan Sports Center.
At the event, he called on the 190 members of the Jakarta contingent to maintain the strength of the team by helping and supporting each other among the bearers of the Jakarta coat of arms.
The Jakarta contingent should also set a goal and strive to achieve it, said Anies Baswedan while urging the participating athletes to work hard and make Jakarta proud.
The Jakarta National Paralympic Committee (NPC) office has set itself the goal of securing first place in the Paralympic Games medal rankings. However, Governor Baswedan has said he hopes the Jakarta contingent will be among the top five in the medal count.
The Jakarta contingent for the Papua Para Games includes 97 athletes, 48 coaches / athletes, 4 special needs attendants and 41 support staff.
Meanwhile, the North Sumatra National Paralympic Committee is sending 66 athletes who will compete in track and field, table tennis, chess, weightlifting, badminton, judo, wheelchair tennis, archery and shooting.
According to Alan Sastra Ginting, NPC-North Sumatra bureau chief, his athletes are well prepared for the Papua Para games to enable North Sumatra to maintain its performance in the West Java Para games in 2016.
North Sumatra’s efforts to repeat their feat in West Java five years ago can be difficult as South Kalimantan, for example, has set itself the goal of winning 20 gold medals in swimming alone.
NPC-South Kalimantan office swim instructor Zuhriannor recently said he had prepared 25 top swimmers to get all 20 gold medals. In the West Java para games, South Kalimantan won 16 gold medals.
“Our athletes are ready to leave for Papua to compete and win the games. Our swimmers will leave on November 2,” he added.
Regarding the convening of the Papua Para-games, Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali said he was confident that the event would take place in a safe and secure manner.
The Indonesian police, military and State Intelligence Agency (BIN) did everything possible to secure and protect the convening of the multisport event, as they had successfully done during the PON, a he declared.
In addition to Amali’s trust, National Police Chief Gen. Listyo Sigit Prabowo called on Police and Army (TNI) personnel in Papua to remain vigilant, citing the likelihood of an escalation of activities separatist terrorists towards the end of the year.
“Before the end of the year, the local problems could worsen,” he said while giving instructions to police and military personnel during a roll call in Timika, in the district of Mimika, in the province. from Papua, on October 22, 2021.
As a result, the security unrest could increase due to the increased intensity of the activities of the Papuan armed groups, he said during the call which was also attended by the commander of the TNI, the chief air marshal. Hadi Tjahjanto.
As part of precautionary measures, maintaining security awareness and vigilance is essential, as was done during the convening of the Papua National Games (PON), Prabowo said.
“Please stay cautious until the end of the year. Our recent success (in securing PON) has made us proud. But don’t be caught off guard as there are tasks we need to do. accomplish, “he added.
During the roll call, which was held at the Raider 20 / IJK infantry brigade headquarters in Timika, Prabowo also thanked all members of the police and TNI involved in securing and safeguarding the convocation of the PON.
Co-organized by the city of Jayapura and the districts of Jayapura, Mimika and Merauke in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the multisport event was strategic for Indonesia and Papua.
The event convincingly demonstrated to Indonesians and the international community that Papua is safe and secure and, therefore, ready to host large-scale events, Prabowo noted.
“It can all be due to the hard work of the TNI, the police and various parts of society,” he said.
Prabowo also spoke about how the police and TNI have managed to stop criminal groups seeking to disrupt Papua’s PON. As a result, the event took place in a safe and secure manner, Prabowo said.
The hard work of the TNI, the police and various parts of society should once again ensure that the 16th Para national games can be summoned safely and securely as the 20th PON.
Read: Papua National Games end with West Java global medal count