GOVERNMENT vows to build world class sports facilities in the country by 2019 to improve the standard of sports in the country and also bid for the 2013 Pacific Games.
This was announced by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare over the weekend at Honiara Hotel during a special event to officially award the medallists and also to welcome back Team Solomon that participated in the recent Pacific Games in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Speaking during the programme Mr Sogavare said, it’s a shame and a slap on the face for this nation that Solomon Islands has no world class sports facilities in the country yet the athletes has proven against all odds by wining Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the games.
He said, his government has seen the importance of sports in the country and will make sure that world class sports facilities are be in placed to prepare athletes for the 2019 Pacific Games in Nukualofa.
He said, the way Team Solomon went to the games without support of good facilities is admirable, however in one sense it is a slap on the face of the nation.
“We demand a lot from our sports men and women in competitions but we do nothing to improve our sporting facilities,” where he described it as unfair for sports men and women in this country.
“I want to challenge all of us to make a commitment, and that is 2019 Solomon Islands contingent to the next Pacific Games which will be hosted by Tonga must be supported by world class sporting facilities if we are to improve our participation,” he said.
He said the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government is committed to that agenda where he said, his government has fully understood that such agenda will require tough decisions.
“I want to assure to the nation that the government is committed to take that decision,” he said.
With that the Prime Minister has assured Team Solomon that government through the Ministry of Home Affairs will develop a comprehensive sports policy to address the need for world class sports infrastructure both in Honiara and in the provincial headquarters.
He said, this will allow more club competition which is grossly lacking in the preparation of the team that represent the country in recent games.
“By 2019 we should already have world class sports facilities in the country and this will help Solomon Islands in its bid to host the 2023 Pacific Games,” he concluded.
By Biriau Wilson Saeni