A new sport will soon try and make its mark in PNG and will target the core of PNG sport.
Papua New Guinea is now part of American Football International (AFI) joining several other countries across the Asia Pacific Region.
President of the PNG American Football Federation, Timothy Dom Jim, says that it’s a proud moment for PNG.
Kumul Football League (KFL) will be officially launched in 2022 joining countries like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, China, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.
Whilst rugby league is the country’s national sport, Mr Jim says that it will be easier for young Papua New Guineans to adapt to American Football.
“The same kicking, passing and placing the ball in rugby is a common play in gridiron as well. I think it will be easy for PNG kids to play this sport.”
Mr Jim also says that he hopes that the sport will create more opportunities for young players in the country.
“I hope that PNG can participate at a global level and I that kids playing this sport can go to America and get scholarships there.”
Countries in the Pacific have already experienced an American education through American Football.
Former University of Arizona quarterback, George Malauulu told Bleach Report that the hype in playing football in America is good for young Pacific Islanders.
“Getting educated in America and playing football in college is good and I think that more and more Pacific Islanders will come to the US for education through sports like gridiron.”
A report from the American National Football League (NFL) shows that more than 60 players that are playing for NFL clubs in America are from the Pacific.
Reports from TVNZ also showed that 5.6 percent of 250 players that are drafted each year into the NFL are from the Pacific Islands, with the largest population of players coming from American Samoa, Hawaii, and Tonga.
Mr Jim believes that PNG still has a chance to become one of the Pacific Island nations that can perform well in the sport.
“I believe that we can show ourselves during the coming American Football tournament.”
PNG has already engaged two Australian-based players, Emmanuel Kapa (Brisbane Rhinos) and Steve Gamu (Sutherland Seahawks).
Emmanuel will be PNG’s Fitness Drills trainer while Steve says that he looks forward to playing with his fellow Papua New Guineans.