The Sol2023 Pacific Games Ambassadors program today starts its second tour of the Westerns Solomons, down Choiseul province.
Part of the Games Organizing Committee’s Community Engagement program, this month (April) has seen the Ambassadors program rolled out in Guadalcanal, Shortland Islands, Malaita and now Choiseul provinces.
The program is aimed at informing and education citizens in the provinces about the Games, raising awareness about sports and its benefits in communities and encouraging young people to take part and be part of sports.
It is also aimed at showing young people the sporting pathways from the villages to the grandest international stages such as the Pacific Games.
Choiseul province located 425 kilometers off Honiara (the national capital), is one of the provinces renowned for producing some of the country’s boxing greats – one of the most well-known being Jay Rukumana Makana.
Makana, a gold medalist at the 1981 Pacific Mini Games in Solomon Islands hails from Panarui village in Lologae, Choiseul province.
“I started following boxing at 14 years of age. My uncle (late Willy Kaua) got me interested in the sport and by 16, I joined my first boxing club, the ‘Islanders Boxing Club. The discipline, the hard work and dedication (effort) that boxers put into the sport to succeed is the key motivator behind my interest and me joining the sport.”
Makana who poses a decorated carrier both as an athlete and official at multiple international events said that the Ambassadors tour is a good initiative that will help many in the long run.
“I believe that with the stories, the experiences that each of our Ambassadors have and will continue sharing throughout the country, it will help our young people build their sporting knowledge and interest to greater lengths.
“To come to Choiseul and share my experiences with my people is something that I believe will be beneficial to my people – it will help kids know more about the Games and how they can strive toward representing the country at such major events in the future,” Makana said.
Meanwhile, Makana and the GOC team will spend eight days visiting the South and Northern regions of the province. They are expected back in the capital next week.