Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare yesterday (5, June, 2023) farewelled eighty local athletes bound for training in China as the country prepares to host and compete in the upcoming 2023 Pacific Games in November.
The eighty athletes were strategically selected from seven national sporting federations. The sports include; Athletics, Boxing, Judo, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Weightlifting.
The athletes will spend ninety days on high performance training under the supervision of Chinese trainers.
Sogavare was the chief guest at a special Commissioning ceremony for the athletes at the new National Stadium witnessed by Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Senior Government Officials, PRC Ambassador Li Ming and his Officials and construction workers of the stadium.
The Prime Minister conveyed his gratitude for the immense support to assist Solomon Islands build the most needed international standard Games facilities and for supporting the training of athletes in China.
“Ambassador, I cannot thank your government enough for this wonderful gift to the people of Solomon Islands,” he said.
“It is both humbling and wonderful for me and members of my delegation to witness this magnificent icon,” he added.
In his message to the athletes, Sogavare said the country puts their trust in them and it is their duty to fully utilize this opportunity and aim high to win medals for the country in November.
“You are the cream of the seven federations that selected you to represent our country in this tremendous opportunity to further develop and sharpen your skills to be as competitive as you can be on your return. Please remember that many others aspire to be part of this group, but you are chosen few,” Sogavare said.
“The trust of your federations are in you. The trust of your families are in you. The trust of your country is in you,” the Prime Minister added.
Upon their return around October, the athletes will be accompanied by seven coaches, one team leader, and an interpreter from China to ensure their training discipline continues right up to and during the games.
The athletes are scheduled to leave this week.