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Sport for All: Australia’s sport for development program, Team Up, launches in Solomon Islands

Australian High Commissioner His Excellency Rod Hilton with the 2023 Pacific Games baton during the Team Up launch.
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Australia has expanded its support for sport in Solomon Islands with the launch of Team Up a program that is already using sport to transform lives across the region; with support for six initiatives across the country.

High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Rod Hilton said “over the next two weeks, the best athletes from around the region will come together for what promises to be a fantastic 2023 Pacific Games hosted by Solomon Islands, with Australia sending its largest ever sporting contingent for a Pacific Games”.


“While we will marvel at the abilities of the competing athletes, it’s important to remember that the development of all elite athletes starts at the grassroots. It is through grassroots development that the next generation of Solomon Islands Pacific Games stars will emerge. I am therefore pleased to launch the Australian Government’s Pacific sports for development program, Team Up, here in Solomon Islands”, said Mr Hilton.

Team Up builds on more than two decades of Australian sport for development programs, activities, and partnerships in the Pacific. In Solomon Islands, Team Up will be supporting six programs:

  • Just Play (Oceania Football Confederation partnering with Solomon Islands Football Federation and Football Australia): helping children to grow, learn and explore through football with a ball, a coach, and a safe place to play.

  • Women Make Waves Effect (SurfAid partnering with Western Solomons Surfing Association and Surfing NSW): using the power of surfing to foster gender equality in Western Solomons, creating a safe and empowering environment for women and girls to participate, with positive ripple effects on society.

  • Smash Down Barriers (ITTF Oceania partnering with Honiara Table Tennis Association): using table tennis as a tool to improve the lives of people with disabilities by increasing participation opportunities and improving the attitudes both by and towards people with disabilities.

  • Hook in4 Health (Oceania Hockey Federation partnering with Solomon Islands Hockey Federation, Aspire Cairns Hockey, Family Planning NSW, Hockey Australia): using hockey to promote gender equity, rights and inclusion as well as support communities to live well, learn well and lead well.

  • Basketball for Good (FIBA Oceania partnering with Solomon Islands Basketball Federation): using the power of basketball to initiate positive change in society.

  • Included through Sport (Sport Inclusion Australia partnering with Oceania Athletics and Athletics Solomon Islands) leveraging athletics to create avenues and possibilities for Solomon Islanders living with disabilities to actively participate in their community with respect, security, and inclusivity.

Team Up supports more than 35 sport for development partnerships across Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. The program runs activities in community, school and sporting settings and uses sport to bring people together. Activities champion inclusion and create opportunities to address gender-based violence, engage people with and without disabilities to participate together, and develops women leaders on and off the field.

Off the field, Team Up also supports strategic regional partnerships, on behalf of the Australian Government, to strengthen the sport sector in areas such as communications, leadership and safeguarding. This includes Women in News and Sport (WINS), a training and mentoring program delivered in partnership with ABC International Development that provides female journalists in Asia-Pacific with the tools to carve out a career in the male-dominated world of sports media.

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