By: Alfred Jigibalom )*
The XX National Sports Week, which will be held in Papua in a few months, will still be held. Even though it’s still a pandemic, the schedule can’t be postponed anymore. Because the implementation of the PON has been postponed for a year. If it was postponed again, it would certainly mess things up. Of course when it is carried out it must be in accordance with health protocols.
PON is a prestigious national level event, because athletes from all over Indonesia compete to show their best performance. In 2021, XX PON will be held in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. The people of Bumi Cendrawasih are very proud because for the first time, an event as big as PON is being held there.
However, until mid-2021 the pandemic has not been completed yet, so the implementation of PON XX becomes a debate. Will it be postponed or held without spectators? Because after all we must obey health protocols and are prohibited from creating crowds.
Kenius Kogoya, General Secretary of KONI Papua stated that PON XX Papua was different because it was held in the midst of the covid pandemic. He also doesn’t know whether the organizers allow spectators or not. Because if there are no spectators, it will more or less affect the athletes, they become less enthusiastic in competing because there are no supporters.
The proposal to hold PON XX Papua without spectators was expressed by Marciano Norman, General Chair of the central KONI. According to him, we must prepare the worst scenario alias PON without spectators. Again, because of the pandemic.
The decision to hold PON XX without spectators is still not 100% fixed, but this is better than delaying it again. Because actually this sporting event was supposed to be held at the end of 2020, but was postponed to 2021 due to pandemic reasons. If it is postponed again, the schedule will be chaotic because many have been cancelled.
In addition, when the XX PON is postponed, it will affect the athlete’s psychology. They have been training hard for this event, and when it was postponed again they were very disappointed. Moreover, their physical and mental preparation also costs a lot of money. So if the XX PON schedule is shifted to 2022, it will require more money.
Another reason is that the preparation of venues such as GOR, racing arena, swimming pool, etc. is almost 100% ready. So that when it is postponed of course the building and venue for the sports match will be in vain. In addition, the maintenance costs are also quite expensive. So the schedule for the XX PON must be adhered to, which is 2021.
Papuans are also waiting to see if the XX PON will be held this year or next year. Many of them actually want PON to be held according to schedule, because they have been excited to wait for more than a year. The implementation of PON is very proud because this is the first time that Papuans are trusted to be the committee.
The middle way is that PON XX can be held in 2021, because next year the pandemic will not necessarily be over. In addition, this event can also be held with spectators, but must comply with health protocols. Athletes and officials are required to do a swab test. Everyone who enters the venue must wash their hands, wear a mask, and must not have physical contact even if they only shake hands.
The audience must also keep their distance, the way is by crossing the seats in the stadium or other venues. So the fans won’t be side by side and jostled and keep their distance.
However, the risk of maintaining the social distancing protocol is that the venue’s capacity can only be up to 50%. However, this is better, than holding PON without spectators at all or even postponed to next year. People who can’t watch live can see it via their smartphone because there is a live broadcast.
The implementation of the XX Papua PON can no longer be canceled because it must be in accordance with the schedule made by the central KONI. The entire committee in Papua is also excited to organize it. Of course, by obeying health protocols and not making crowds.
)* The author is a Papuan student living in Bali