Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare today has welcomed Australia’s close to SB$100 million contribution towards hosting the Pacific Games in Honiara in 2023.
Australia’s visiting Minister for Defence Industry, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Hon Pat Conroy announced the assistance at a ceremony attended by Sogavare and senior officials from the two countries at the Solomon Islands Institute of Sports (SINIS) this morning.
The contribution made Australia the second largest development partner contributor to the 2023 Pacific Games.
Speaking at the ceremony, Sogavare conveyed his personal and the governments sincere appreciation to the Prime Minister and People of Australia for this huge contribution to Solomon Islands 2023 Pacific Games efforts.
He further commended the Australian team on the ground, led by H. E. High Commissioner Strahan for his tremendous efforts in supporting the government’s proposal for funding support.
For the government and the people of Solomon Islands, the 2023 Pacific Games is not just about ‘two weeks of sporting extravaganza’ but it will attract more than five thousand people in Honiara capital city in November 2023 and there will be tremendous competition over the games period.
However, as a first-time host of this major sporting event – all preparations and planning are underpinned by one single word – LEGACY.
“The 2023 Pacific Games is all about leaving a legacy for our young population, and our future generations,” Sogavare said.
It is the single largest unifying event for the nation. The theme for the 2023 Pacific games comprises three simple words – Challenge, Celebrate, Unite, which aptly describes Solomon Islands vision and hope that the games will continue to unify the nation.
“The financial contribution from Australia will leave a legacy for the schools selected to be part of our games’ village program for the 2023 Pacific Games. The Pacific Games has become an important catalyst for my government to seek help to assist us refurbish and in some instances, modernize our schools and their facilities,” Sogavare said.
The assistance will also ensure that technical expertise that the National Hosting Authority has engaged to help deliver the 2023 Pacific Games successfully on behalf of the government, the Pacific Games Council and Solomon Islands Pacific Games Association – the three partners to the host agreement is assured until the games are delivered.
The assistance will also enable the NHA to start work on the last games’ facility it had not been able to build – the marine sports center to accommodate water sporting events.
Furthermore, the financial support will ensure SINIS acquire the remaining sports equipment it needs for its operation.
All these four targeted areas that the Australian funding will support will live on beyond the 2023 Pacific Games. They will continue to shape the development of young people in the country for years to come.