Solomon Islands Prime Minister pledges backing for 2023 Pacific Games

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela appeared by a video link at the PGC General Assembly Picture: Getty Images

APIA, 19 JUNE 2018 (INSIDE THE GAMES) – Solomon Islands Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela has pledged the Government’s full support for hosting the 2023 Pacific Games.

Houenipwela appeared via a video message at the Pacific Games Council (PGC) General Assembly during a progress report on preparations for the event.

The Prime Minister has taken on Ministerial responsibility for the Games, which the Organising Committee claimed highlighted the Government’s commitment.

He also thanked the Government of Taiwan, who have pledged their support to help ensure the Games are success.

“We are committed that all the requirements for the sporting facilities will be built well in time for the 2023 Pacific Games,” he said.

“Our people in the Solomon Islands will take this opportunity to participate in the sports development in the Pacific.

“My country will treasure the benefits, armed with a legacy of having hosted these prestigious Pacific Games.

“I want to confirm that Solomon Islands have support coming from other places.

“In particular, I am happy to announce to the PGC that the Government of Taiwan have given my Government an assurance it will assist my country to build a main stadium for the Pacific Games.

“We welcome this and are very thankful to our donors.

“We are committed to our mandate and so can confirm the underwriting of these Games.”

Taiwan’s main support for the Games will come through their building of a 12,000-capacity stadium in Panatina, which will be the main venue in 2023.

The capacity of the stadium could potentially be risen to 20,000 on a temporary basis, once it is completed.

An athletics track will be included as part of the venue.

Two sports halls will also be built near the stadium, according to organisers, along with a secondary pitch with 4,000 seats.

Refurbishment of tennis courts and the conversion of an existing hockey pitch will also be required.

Organisers also pledged their commitment to delivering on a vision of “Green Games”, citing the possible creation of a green park in capital Honiara.

As part of the park’s proposal, it has been viewed as a potential site for the Games’ swimming pool.

Beach volleyball is another sport which currently requires a venue.

Athletes are set to be housed in universities throughout the duration of the Games.

Organisers have proposed that the Games take place from July 14 to 28 in 2023.