Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Solomon Islands assured stakeholders in the 2023 Pacific Games that preparations for the quadrennial competition are on track.
In his weekly address, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the government, through the National Hosting Authority, has already secured resources to construct approximately 80% of the facilities required for the Games.
“We are confident we can secure the additional 20 percent before 2023,” Sogavare said in a press statement released last Monday.
The Prime Minister added that despite the current economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Solomon Islands government is committed to meet its share of the funding for the 2023 Pacific Games.
“We fought hard to be given the honor to host the Games. We will not let go of the Games,” he said.
Sogavare also said that the NHA has been in regular consultation with the Pacific Games Council to discuss the timelines for 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,” the Prime Minister said.
Sogavare also shared the developments that the island-nation and its partners have done in the first six months of the year despite the impact that the pandemic has caused across the globe.
The Solomon Islands has finalized all venues for the 24 sports that will be offered in the Games. These include the brand new 10,000-seater stadium, a 50-metre swimming pool, five tennis courts, a new practice track and field, hockey field, a multipurpose hall, and a 1,200 square meter office block. These facilities will be funded by China, while Indonesia will foot the bill of the construction of a new futsal multipurpose complex.
The Solomon Islands Football Federation Soccer Academy, on the other hand, is incorporating two soccer fields, an outdoor futsal court, beach soccer and beach volleyball, an office complex, and a 50-bed dormitory and these facilities will be funded by Papua New Guinea and other partners.
Others venues identified to host the 2023 Pacific Games are the Honiara City Council Multipurpose Hall, Maranatha Hall, Honiara Golf Club, and the DC Park.
Sogavare said that a team from China will be in Honiara mid next month to consult and finalize the design of the facilities.
“The design and tendering process are being fast-tracked to ensure construction commences no later than May 1, 2021. The last facility will be handed over to government no later than June 2023,” he said.
The 2023 Pacific Games will run from July 17 to 31.