If Rugby is the most popular sport in Pacific countries, then football is the most famous sport in East Indonesia.
West Papua is chosen to be the host of Indonesian National Sports Week (PON) 2020. Because of that, West Papuan musicians and singers have also made a West Papua song titled Papua Bangkit (West Papua, Rise!). The lyrics of the song is made to make every listener stand up and wave their red-and-white West Papua flag to support West Papuan athletes.
For West Papuans, sports are pride. So, how do they fight for their pride in sports?
1. West Papuan football players are well-known in Asia
After bringing victory for Indonesia in Asean Football Federation (AFF U-22) 2019 Cup, West Papuan players, Rivaldo Ferre and Marinus Wanewar will win more gold in PON 2020.
2. Judo Team Targets for Gold
Though Judo comes from Asia, many West Papuans are interested in mastering this sport. Gold medalist of Regional Championship 2018, Marcelino Papara, along with 6 other athletes will represent the West Papua Judo team in PON 2020.
3. 1,000 athletes will compete for West Papua
Indonesia National Sports Committee (KONI) in West Papua estimates that about 1,000 West Papuan athletes will show off their talents in PON 2020. Along with other 33 Indonesian provinces, West Papua will show its effort in Indonesia’s biggest sports celebration.
4. A New Athletes Village in West Papua
Other than athletes, Indonesia enhances West Papuan infrastructure by building flats for 6,000 athletes who will participate in the upcoming PON.
5. Excellent Health Centers for Athletes
A new supporting hospital will also be built in West Papua. West Papua news reported that the medical personnel are also ready to succeed PON 2020 as they received training to handle the athletes.
Though National Sports Week is still a year ahead, Indonesia is already showing its enthusiasm to welcome PON 2020 in West Papua.enthusiasm to welcome PON 2020 in West Papua.