SI on track to host PG 2023: PM

PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says Solomon Islands is on track to successfully host the 2023 Pacific Games.

Prime Minister Sogavare took the opportunity to give an update on the progress of the Pacific Games 2023 during his COVID-19 weekly address today.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the government through the National Hosting Authority (NHA) has already secured resources to construct approximately 80 percent of all the facilities required for the Games.

“We are confident we can secure the additional 20 percent before 2023,” he said.

The Prime Minister said despite the current economic slowdown posed by the impacts of the COVID-19, the government is committed to meet its share of the funding for the Pacific Games 2023, to ensure the Games takes place.

“We fought hard to be given the honour to host the Games. We will NOT let go of the Games,” he said.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the NHA has been in regular consultation with the Pacific Games Council [PGC], concerning the timing of the Games.

“Three years out, both the NHA and the PGC are confident the Games will occur in 2023. However, both will continue to monitor the global COVID-19 situation in the coming months,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted negatively on the country’s preparation for the Games.

However, he said despite the setbacks posed by COVID-19, the government has continued to deliver on the preparation for the 2023 Games.

The Prime Minister said at this stage, he has been advised by the Chairman of the National Hosting Authority, that Solomon Islands is still on track to host the Games in July 2023.

The Prime Minister then highlighted the positive developments achieved so far in the first 6 months of 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said all the venues for the 24 sports have been finalised.

They include:

  1. a brand new 10,000 seats stadium,  a 50-metre swimming pool, 5 tennis courts, a new practice track and field, a hockey field, a multipurpose hall and a 1,200 square metre office block. All these are funded by the Peoples Republic of China,
    1. a brand-new Futsal Multipurpose court complex funded by Indonesia,
    1. SIFF 2023 Soccer Academy incorporating two soccer fields, an outdoor futsal court, beach soccer and beach volleyball, an office complex and a 50-bed dormitory  funded by Papua New Guinea and other partners,
    1. The Solomon Islands National Institute of Sports jointly funded by the government and development partners,
    1. The HCC multi-purpose hall, the Maranatha hall and the Honiara golf Club will also host several events, and
    1. The water sports will likely be at the DC Park just east of the eastern end of the Henderson Airport runway.

Prime Minister Sogavare said the design team from the Peoples Republic of China will arrive in Honiara around the middle of August to consult and finalise the design discussions.

“The design and tendering process are being fast-tracked to ensure construction commences no later than 1st May 2021. The last facility will be handed over to Government no later than June 2023,” he said.

The dates for the Games are set to run for 2 weeks from 17th July 2023.

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