The Pacific Games symbolize how sports can bring everyone together, capturing the essence and spirit of unity that these games stand for," remarked His Excellency Li Ming, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ambassador to Solomon Islands.
These sentiments were shared during an official ceremony held on 16 August 2023 at the Friendship Hall in Honiara, where sports equipment was presented to the Solomon Islands Government. The equipment caters to seven sports disciplines, all backed by the Chinese government.
Ambassador Ming expressed his honour in presenting the equipment to the Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, who also oversees the 2023 Pacific Games.
"I am confident that these items will greatly benefit the athletes of the Solomon Islands. With proper facilities and this state-of-the-art equipment, I foresee an enhancement in the training regimes and more importantly, clinching of more medals in the Pacific Games," Ambassador Ming noted.
Highlighting the importance of unity and collaboration, he urged all stakeholders to work "faster, stronger, and united" for a secure future.
Expressing gratitude, Prime Minister Sogavare revealed that the equipment's value exceeded USD $320,000, or approximately $2.6 million in Solomon Islands currency. He emphasized how these resources would significantly boost the training and growth of athletes across the seven sports federations backed by the Chinese government.
Highlighting the opportunities, Hon. Sogavare said, "The seven sports federations selected for training in China are indeed fortunate. Our 80 athletes, currently honing their skills in China, will benefit immensely from this equipment upon their return, further sharpening their skill level and competitive edge for the Pacific Games."
Concluding the event, Prime Minister Sogavare extended heartfelt thanks to the PRC government on behalf of the seven sports federations, the broader Solomon Islands community, and the government.
The fortunate sports disciplines that will utilize the equipment are swimming, judo, taekwondo, boxing, table tennis, weightlifting, and athletics.