The countdown continues, the hype is on and preparations are on track as we sit merely 82 days out from witnessing the 2023 Pacific Games (Sol2023) unfold here in Honiara, the national capital of Solomon Islands.
Leading the charge and anticipation through towards start of this historical event in November is the Official Baton Relay who has since the 11th of August, completed its journey around Isabel and now Central Islands Province (CIP).
Upon completing Isabel province two weeks ago, the Baton then journeyed to its next stop, Central Islands province (CIP) on the 22nd of this month (August).
The Baton’s first stop was a courtesy visit to the Premier’s Office in Tulagi, the provincial capital, where it was officially handed over to the Provincial Government and the people of the province.
From there, the Baton then made its way under the watchful eyes of the RSIPF (Royal Solomon Islands Police Force) to Russel Islands, Yandina, Savo, Sun-fly, Roderick Bay, Haroro village, Siota CHS and to Boromole.
After three days touring these sites and passed from one Baton barrier to another, it then returned to Tulagi for its final lap around the provincial capital.
“It was truly captivating, amazing and indeed a joyous sight to see the reaction, the anticipation, the excitement and the acceptance our people in CIP have towards the Baton Relay and towards November’s Sol2023 Pacific Games.
“Men, women, children – even the older folks were excited to take part in program. T’was indeed incredible the level of preparedness and organisation between the provincial government and the people of CIP,” GOC’s Community Engagement Coordinator and Baton Relay team leader Jacqueline Maeli said.
Jacqueline added, “The team would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the provincial government and the people of the Central Island Province for their warm hospitality during the week-long stay in their beautiful province.”
She confirmed they have now completed CIP and are now gearing up for the next tour to the far eastern end of the country – Temotu province.
“All arrangements are in place, and we are now ready to head off to Temotu.”
Also accompanying the Baton in its two tours is a signatory book provided by Solomon Airlines – the official sponsors of the Games Baton Relay.
The signatory book gives people in the provinces the opportunity to jot down words of encouragement to Solomon Islands athletes who will be competing at the Games.
“This initiative is purposely to help motivate our local athletes – have them know that the nation is behind them.”
The signatory book has thus far collected close to 200 plus signatures from the two provinces.