By : Eko Prasetyo
The XX Papua National Sports Week (PON) is proof that Indonesia is able to hold big events during the Covid-19 pandemic. The public is also asked to participate in the success of the event so that it runs safely and smoothly.
Minister of Youth and Sports (Menpora) Zainudin Amali, said he was optimistic that the XX National Sports Week (PON) in Papua, which will be held this year, could run smoothly. Zainudin said, based on a report from the Deputy Governor (Wagub) of Papua, there was no problem in the preparation for organizing the PON and it would be held according to a predetermined schedule.
This optimism is also supported by the existence of a vaccination program for the community around the location of the PON, the Minister of Youth and Sports emphasized that the Ministry of Health is committed to assisting the vaccination process. Regarding the PON schedule, the Minister of Youth and Sports Zainudin Amali ensured that the Papua PON would continue as scheduled.
Zainudin said that all parties need not worry because the government has committed to vaccinate athletes, officials and the community around the match venue for the realization of a safe PON XX Papua. He admitted that he had coordinated with the Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikit, regarding the availability and implementation of vaccinations, which were confirmed to be carried out before the Papua PON was held.
The Ministry of Health will also accelerate COVID-19 vaccination in a number of cities/districts in Papua. This aims to support the implementation of PON XX on October 2-15, 2021. For information, PON XX 2021 will be held on October 2-5, 2021. There are 37 branches and 10 expedition branches that will be competed.
Because the Covid-19 pandemic is still ongoing, KONI Chair Marciano Norman requested that everyone involved in the implementation of the 2021 PON XX must have been vaccinated. He also admitted that he was optimistic that the situation and conditions at the location of the XX 2021 PON event would be conducive. The locations in question include Jayapura City, Jayapura Regency, Mimika Regency and Merauke Regency.
On a different occasion, the secretary of the Indonesian National Sports Committee (KONI) Papua Province Kenius Kogoya hoped that all Papuans would always be optimistic and support the implementation of the XX 2020 National Sports Week (PON) in Papua. Kenius said that PON is not only owned by the government and KONI, but also belongs to all citizens in Papua.
He invited the whole community not to be pessimistic and to be optimistic that PON must be successful in Papua. We must not respond to things that make things less good here, even though they know something is happening in Papua, but support for this event must remain solid.
For Papua, PON is a very important event, because this event will of course be an added value for equitable development in Papua to equitable economic development in Papua. Because the success of PON is not only a matter of successful implementation and successful achievements.
PON XX will be enlivened with 37 sports, 56 sports disciplines, 679 match numbers and 6,442 athletes. All athletes are expected to perform optimally in order to set a new record. In addition, the most prestigious multievent in Indonesia is not only about competition, but also a show-off event for athletes from Cenderawasih Earth to be known internationally.
So, with the various problems and limitations that exist in Papua, it does not mean that the Province in the Eastern Region of Indonesia has minimal achievements. It was proven at the 2019 SEA Games, Papua sent 30 athletes who fought in several leading sports such as weightlifting and athletics.
The Manuri tribal chief, Soleman Manuri said, as a form of support that will be carried out in the success of the PON, the Manuri tribe will display local wisdom in the form of local cuisines, to pamper the eyes and tongues of guests and athletes who come from outside Papua. For this reason, Soleman invites all indigenous Papuans (OAP) not to be just spectators in the implementation of the XX PON, but to be involved in the success of the national agenda.
PON XX Papua is not only owned by the government and KONI, but also belongs to all citizens in Papua.
All preparations from venues, vaccinations, committees to community support, of course prove that Papua Province is able to organize large multi-events like PON and Peparnas, of course this is a big leap as well as making history in terms of organizing PON in Indonesia.
(The author is a contributor to the Nusantara Reading Room)