President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo, accompanied by first lady Iriana, visiting Papua Bangkit Stadium in East Sentani, Jayapura district, on Monday. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Papua Prepares for 2020 National Sports Week


APRIL 02, 2019

Jakarta. Papua is getting ready to host the 2020 National Sports Week, despite severe flooding that hit the provincial capital, Jayapura, last month, killing more than 110 people and causing major damage in several parts of the city.

During a visit to the country's easternmost province on Monday, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo observed preparations for the multisports event.

"This is only to check on the preparations for 2020 National Sports Week. The host will be Papua," Jokowi said at Papua Bangkit Stadium in Sentani district.

The stadium, which is still under construction, will be the main venue for the national event. Jokowi said he expected the construction to be completed by May this year.

According to the president, the stadium construction is funded from the regional budget, while funding for other infrastructure being built for the event will come from the state budget.

Papua Bangkit Stadium, which is currently nearing completion, will cost Rp 1.3 trillion ($91 million). With a seating capacity of 40,000, it will be the largest in eastern Indonesia. The stadium meets FIFA standards for its football field and it has an additional field for training purposes.

"All of it [Papua Bangkit Stadium] will be funded from the regional budget. The aquatic arena from the state budget and the same goes for the sports complex. So it's a mix. But look at the quality," Jokowi said.

Football and Athletics

As it will be the first time Papua hosts the country's biggest national sports event, the province hopes to win some medals in the various competitions.

Therefore, Governor Lukas Enembe told the president that he wants to establish Papua as "the province of football and athletics."

Jokowi expressed support for the idea and asked the governor to maintain his focus on those sports.

"That's it. Let's focus on those two," the president said, as quoted in a media statement issued by the State Secretariat.

In the previous National Sports Week, which took place in Bandung, West Java, in 2016, saw the host province winning most of the gold medals.