Sport: Solomon Islands to host 2023 Pacific Games
Solomon Islands to host the 2023 Pacific Games.
Solomon Islands has won the bid to host the 2023 Pacific Games.
The Pacific Games Council's General Assembly voted in favour of the Melanesian country 11 votes to 10 over French Polynesia, who also lost out to Tonga in the final vote for the 2019 Games.
Solomon Islands will be the eighth country to host the full Pacific Games.
The President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, spoke with Vinnie Wylie after the vote in Vanuatu.
VIDHYA LAKHAN: Both the bids were pretty good. Solomon Islands had their Prime Minister, their Deputy Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Mayor. I don't think anybody was left back at home but they were here in full force. They did a pretty good presentation and were able to convince the General Assembly that we should meet in Honiara in 2023, so that's where we will be going.
VINNIE WYLIE: Solomon Islands become the eighth country to host the full Pacific Games so it's a new frontier, much like Tonga 2019, for the Games.
VL: That is quite true. They have previously hosted the inaugural Mini Games way back in 1981 so I think after about 35 years or so they have the opportunity to organise the big one. They've got some good plans and they have got some donor governments willing to provide them and build them the venues and facilities they require, so they have got seven years to do that.
VW: The government has secured that funding to build a new national stadium that they've promised. Obviously, there's been some issues with Tonga 2019 in terms of funding. As another new country coming into it are you confident that the bid put forward by the Solomon Islands that they won't have those issues?
VL: Today I have no concerns, no problems because we know the leadership, we know their commitment, we know their passion and they will deliver. Problems arise for us when there is a change of government and lack of understanding and appreciation of the commitments made by previous governments, in terms of being a host nation, but it takes time to get our messages through. Of course seven years is a long time - we don't know what might happen - but at the present time we are fairly confident that if the current government makes all the necessary commitments with the developers, donor governments (and) puts all the necessary legislation in place I think it will be plain sailing to some extent.
VW: Success for the Solomon Islands but now it's two times in a row French Polynesia have missed out. I guess there's always got to be a winner and a loser?
VL: Yeah well when you go into sports there's always a winner and always a loser but I am hoping that they will come back, go back and reassess where they went wrong and improve their big and come back again strongly to get the Games back into Tahiti.
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