Fiji Time: 11:38 PM on Monday 30 November

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2015 games serve as continental games

Rashneel Kumar
Monday, July 07, 2014

THE Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) will inform the International Olympic Committee on the existence of the Pacific Games as Oceania's Continental Games.

This was agreed in a memorandum of understanding signed between the ONOC president Doctor Robin Mitchell and Pacific Games Council (PGC) president Vidhya Lakhan at the PGC general assembly in Papua New Guinea last week.

Oceania is the only continent without a Continental Games and athletes from the region had to go to other competition and regions to try and qualify for the Olympic Games.

Dr Mitchell, who is also an IOC member, said they would advise the executives of the Association of National Olympic Committees on this latest development.

"It's been a process that has taken us a little while but I think the outcomes are good," Dr Mitchell said.

"It's particularly good for us in the sense that the Pacific Games Council is in control on the way we move forward.

"I think it's important to recognise that both Australia and New Zealand want to take part in our games."

Lakhan said they were delighted with this move.

"From memory it's more than 15 years but we are have crossed that line and we entering a new era, as we have agreed and ONOC has also agreed that any invitation extended to Australia and New Zealand will be on a gradual basis," he said.

"The invitation will be in only four sports. We are going to trial it to see how it works."

The signing of the MOU makes the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, PNG the first Continental Games of the region.

Meanwhile the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands was awarded the 2021 Pacific Mini Games.

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