Through sports people learn to become responsible, accountable and dependable citizens. This is one of the objectives of a youth empowerment program which is giving young men and women in Hela Province a chance to believe in their potential.
The youth empowerment program is a partnership between ExxonMobil PNG and the Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea which combines basketball skills training with a concentration on teamwork, social skills, sportsmanship, and life skills.
Aging sporting infrastructure in participating schools is also being given a facelift through partnership with ExxonMobil PNG and local landco Hides Management Services to refurbish or build new basketball courts.
Para Primary School is the second school to receive a new basketball court, when it was officially handed to the school in early August. The coaching clinic is expected to start in October.
Juni Primary School was the first school in Hides to pilot the basketball coaching clinic in 2016 and have their basketball court refurbished.
Para Primary School Head Teacher Thomas Belo thanked ExxonMobil PNG for its support since the school resumed operation five years ago.
"Whilst some students may be successful in education others may prosper in sports. This support provides students with an alternative to progress their development," he said.
ExxonMobil PNG's Hides Gas Conditioning Plant Senior Field Superintendent Ken Rhyason said that sports is a motivator and a vehicle for change for the young men and women.
"By supporting such development programs for youth, we are providing an opportunity for them to become active and reliable members of their community. We hope that this experience will open new horizons and build within themselves stronger self-belief in their potential," Mr Rhyason added.
ExxonMobil PNG has invested approximately K21 million in education infrastructure support, governance improvement programs, and teacher training since 2011.