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Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games - Moving Forward

From December 6th to 7th, members of the Government of Solomon Islands, the Honiara City Council, the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI) and the Pacific Games Council (PGC) participated in the inaugural meeting of the Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games National Hosting Authority (NHA), in Honiara.

The NHA was established under the Pacific Games 2023 Act 2017 which was legislated in February 2017, and activated on 26 October 2018.  The National Hosting Authority is the Authority that will oversee the delivery of the Games, the venues and all services including Sport Development leading up to the Pacific Games in July 2023. The Pacific Games 2023 Act 2017, mandated the oversight and support required by the Government of Solomon Islands to deliver the Games.

The NHA received reports on progress to date, funding requirements, and key decisions that are required to be made in the next year.  The overall facilities plan was developed by the PG2023 Preparatory Task Force was reviewed, and all members agreed that the plan that was developed by the Task Force is a feasible /logical and financially responsible plan.  The NHA congratulated the Task Force led by National Sports Council Chairman Gabriel Suri and his task force member’s team of the work. The NHA also recognized the work of the Cabinet Sub-Committee, that was led by the Chairman, Hon. Steve Abana upon appointment by the Honorable Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela.  The NHA will now take over all planning efforts of the Games as these other two Cabinet Set up bodies have now completed their tasks and submitted their reports to NHA.

The NHA Chairman, Dr Jimmi Rogers stated that with 2019 now just on the doorstep, the time has come to ramp up Games planning efforts.  Good progress has been made with acquiring land and donor support for the various projects, and now the mechanisms to start designs, finalize funding agreements are needed to be put in place in the first quarter of 2019. 

NOCSI provided details of plans to work with the National Sports Federations and the National Sports Council to develop a High Performance centre to ensure that in the lead up to the 2023 Games that Solomon Island athletes /coaches get the best training and competition experience so as to deliver a “best ever” medal haul for our country in 2023.

PGC President Vidhya Lakhan expressed his pleasure and comfort in the planning efforts to date, and commended the Government of Solomon Islands and the Hon Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela on their support.  He noted that while the Games are some four and half years away, that time can quickly erode if there is no constant and consistent pressure brought to bear in the planning efforts.

The NHA will meet on a monthly basis to ensure that the Government and PGC have a clear understanding of the challenges and efforts needed to ensure the planning stays on track.

Earlier in the week a representative of the NHA provided an update on the Games to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and outlined some of the business opportunities that will arise out of hosting these Games.  The presentation was well received and many companies expressed interest in how to get involved early on.

In the meantime, NOCSI is progressing with plans to take a very large team to compete in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa, and to signal to the rest of the Pacific nations, that come 2023 that there will be few medals available for other nations to take home from Solomon Islands, as Team Solomon will be Going for Gold!!!.

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