Two visiting top Pacific Games Council (PGC) Officials, President Vidhya Lakhan and Executive Director Andrew Minogue have ended their visit for the evaluation of the Solomon Islands bid for the 2023 Pacific Games.
The final part of their visit was the visit to proposed sites for the Games if the country wins the bid to host in 2023 and met with the head of each sports federation in the country.
Speaking to local media yesterday, president Lakhan revealed they had met with the Government leaders and sports leaders before visiting the sites.
“We have met with government leaders, the Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Minister for Sports, the Prime Minister, the Opposition leaders and the Attorney General.
“Today (yesterday) we met the mayor and deputy mayor of the Honiara City council (HCC) and also the proposed venues which will accommodate the participating teams.”
He said during the meetings they explained what bidding and winning the host is all about.
“We are trying to take the opportunity to explain to them what biding, winning and hosting a Game entail.
“It’s a lot of work; you have to have to deliver in a timely fashion.
“Seven years is not a long time to organize the Games of the size and magnitude of the Pacific Games.
“Particularly if you have to build all the facilities that we need for the Games.
“We explained the implication of winning the bid and what is required of all the stakeholders.”
Lakhan stressed that both Solomon Islands and Tahiti have an equally good bid however the winner will be decided during the General Assembly in May.
“On the whole I would like to say Solomon Islands has got a bid which is very good and Tahiti’s bid is equally good.
“We have been encouraged by the level of support and enthusiasm shown by your political leaders, sports leaders and civic leaders.
“But that is not sufficient, what will happen is if you are successful in winning the bid.
“We will immediately enter into a contract which really clearly specifies the responsibilities of the Government, the responsibility of NOCSI and responsibility of the PGC,” he said.
Executive Director Andrew Minogue added it is very important that the contract which will be signed in May be respected no matter who is in the government or who is leading NOCSI.
He said everybody they met this week have a good understanding of what was discussed.
“Part of our visit is to explain to that the Games are very different to what they were in 1981 when Solomon Islands hosted the South Pacific Mini Games.
“Over the decade or so, we have become much more professional of how we deliver our Games,” he said.
The actual presentation of the Bid will take place in May 9th at Port Vila in Vanuatu during PGC General Assembly.
The decision will be taken at the General Assembly by 22 island members of the Pacific Games Council in a secret ballot.
By CARLOS ARUAFU