Throughout 2023 over 800 Solomon Islands athletes will be training on the Gold Coast in Australia. This opportunity will help develop their talents and prepare them for the 2023 Pacific Games and beyond, including the upcoming Commonwealth and Olympic Games.
On 20 April the Executive Director of Solomon Islands National Institute of Sports (SINIS) Aaron Alsop took Australia’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands Rod Hilton on a tour of the Gold Coast Performance Centre with representatives from the Solomon Islands Government, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) Stephen Maesiola and Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC) National Coordinator John Kennedy Taufunu.
Solomon Islands’ national netball team were training at the Gold Coast Performance Centre during the visit including 16 athletes, their coach and manager. Netball coach Ruth Tolia said it was an excellent opportunity for the athletes to train and develop their skills. She said it was not just about the training, but also the centre provided excellent accommodation and food meaning it was easier for the athletes to just focus their time on developing their skills.
In addition to the Performance Centre, High Commissioner Hilton and the Solomon Islands Government representatives also visited the Carrara Sport and Leisure Centre. This centre was a legacy from the 2018 Commonwealth Games. During the visit, managers of the centre shared their experiences of inheriting sporting venues after a major sporting event. The managers discussed the challenges of upkeeping the venues and raising revenue.
The Australian Government has provided SBD $100 million in support to the 2023 Pacific Games in partnership with the National Hosting Authority. This includes the provision of elite sporting equipment for Solomon Islands’ athletes and Australian volunteers to help them train and develop. Dorms and classrooms in seven schools are being refurbished under the partnership to act as athlete accommodation during the Games and the partnership is building Solomon Islands first dedicated water sports park. The partnership is also funding expert advisors, including in facilities management to help run the new sporting venues.
-AHC Media Release