Jayapura (ANTARA) - The National Sports Committee of Indonesia (KONI) has urged three new autonomous provinces of Central Papua, Highland Papua, and South Papua to identify and nurture their flagship sports.

The three new provinces will participate in the XXI PON National Games in Aceh and North Sumatra in 2024, KONI chairperson Marciano Norman said in a statement received here on Thursday.

Their participation will be in keeping with the resolution of a meeting held with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on January 25, 2023, when the new provinces carved from Papua as well as West Papua -- Southwest Papua Province -- were instructed to participate in the XXI PON Games.

"KONI will soon establish four regional offices at the four new autonomous regions with the acting governors as their inaugural chairpersons," Norman informed.

The executives of these new provincial KONI offices are expected to mobilize each KONI office in their region to nurture potential flagship sports after their inauguration, he added.

The new KONI offices in Papua must prioritize identifying the flagship sports that suit the physical condition of local athletes for the time being rather than attempting to develop athletes in all sports numbers, the KONI head said.

"Papuan athletes' potentials must be the main focus in selecting flagship sports (to ensure that) those provinces can make substantial achievements during the XXI PON Games in Aceh-North Sumatra later," Norman stressed.

Moreover, KONI is expecting its offices in the new Papuan provinces to implement Law No. 11 of 2022 on Sports and Grand Design of National Sports (DBON), which instructs each region to nurture at least two flagship sports numbers.

"Hence, we can firmly step forward with the hope that through DBON, we could achieve the top five rank in the Olympics by 2044, and Papuan athletes in the three new autonomous provinces can be part of national teams participating in single- or multi-sport events representing Indonesia," Norman remarked.

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Translator: Ardiles Lelotery, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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