Jakarta (ANTARA) - Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali visited the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday to report some agendas to President Joko Widodo, including efforts to make Papua a sports province.

Amali admitted that the discourse was raised based on research findings from academics of the University of Cenderawasih, which stated that the 2020 National Sports Week hosted last year had increased the nationalism of Papuan people.

"One of the interesting aspects is how we encourage Papua as a sports province, we are preparing it. It is because indeed, the results of research conducted by fellows from Cenderawasih University are (about) result of the implementation of National Sports Week on the increasing sense of Papuans' nationalism," Amali noted.

Papua was selected as the host of the 2020 National Sports Week after putting Bali and Aceh out of candidacy in 2014.

The event was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was finally hosted in 2021 with health protocols, as the pandemic had yet to end.

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President Jokowi was present to open the event on October 2, 2021, at the Lukas Enembe Stadium, Jayapura District, which was one of the venues specifically built to hold the sports party.

The 2020 National Sports Week Papua was hosted in four clusters in Jayapura City, Jayapura District, Mimika District, and Merauke District.

Papua is ranked fourth in the medal standings, the highest in the history of its participation in the National Sports Week, with 93 gold medals, 66 silver medals, and 102 bronze medals.

Their immense enthusiasm drove them to watch the event in person, especially in popular sports, such as football.

Hence, efforts to promote Papua as a sports province are in line with the government's intentions to ensure that venues in the four clusters are maintained and used for coaching and competition.

The minister also reported on the commemoration of the 2022 Youth Pledge Day in Nusantara City hosted last month.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Suharto
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