The PNG National Darts team will participate at the inaugural South Pacific Darts championships from January 15-20 in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The first ever championship will include Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Niue and hosts Vanuatu.
The 25 players (men and women) including team officials led by team manager Goasa Geita will leave today while the rest of the contingent will travel to Port Vila on Thursday.
“The players will have friendly matches against Vanuatu clubs prior to the championships, to allow for international exposure,” Geita said.
“It is an all important event and we are confident of winning seven gold medals. We will also open the pathway for future representative duties.”
The current world darts champion Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor will be attending the presentation dinner on January 20 as the guest at the event.
PNG Darts Federation president John Kuaru is confident that PNG will be among those receiving the medallions. They will also push for the Oceania Darts Federation to bid for its inclusion in the next Pacific Games in Samoa.
Kuaru expressed gratitude to Bank South Pacific, Air Niugini, PNG Sports Foundation (PNGSF), PNG Defence Force Sergeant’s mess, Murray Barracks, Kori Navuru, Molean Kilepak Lawyers, Deara Papua and Henao Nanai for supporting the team.
The presentation night will culminate with exhibition matches from Taylor against the best players from the South Pacific nations.
The PNG men’s squad is Molean Kilepak (Captain), Ikau Karo, Toka Ben, Soi Lohia, Thomas Jarope, Arua Morea, Peter Gabriel, Arua Vaieke and Iova Mado.
The women’s side is Joan Lawes (Captain), Rosemary Bates, Nia Kilepak, Susie Pondros, Sandra Hekau, Venika John, Esther Krakuan, Rarua Henao Nanai, Veronica Yapa and Naomi Eliza.
The team officials are chef de mission Jerry Miller, general manager Goasa Geita, men’s coach Steven Avel, women’s coach Jeffery Jackson, technical officials John Kuaru and Banaga Mado.