EDITORIAL- A project worthy of our unwavering support

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WORK on the multimillion dollars Pacific Games stadium official started yesterday.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, who was instrumental in bringing the Games here during the bidding process in 2016, was at hand yesterday to officiate in the ground-breaking ceremony.

China is funding the project at a cost of around $2.5 billion.

Constructor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), has exactly two years to complete the stadium before the Games kick off in July 2023.

This is a huge project of considerable proportion.

It will occupy 26,000 square meters of land, spanning from the King George Sixth School to the lower Panatina campus in east Honiara.

More than 110 Chinese engineers and other technical people are already here to work on the project.

CCECC is expected to recruit up to 300 locals – both skilled and unskilled – to work on the project.

The stadium project will include seven separate sporting infrastructures.

They are:

  1. A 10,000-seat national stadium which includes 1,000 VIP seats,
  2. An Aquatic centre hosting a 50-meter competition pool, and a 25-meter training pool,
  3. A six-court tennis centre
  4. A full-sized training track and field with a full-sized soccer/ rugby field
  5. A 90 meters by 50 meters multi-purpose hall
  6. A 5-aside competition hockey field
  7. A double story food court and office space building for the Games Organising Committee

When completed, the stadium is set to transform the eastern side of the capital.

It therefore is only appropriate that it be called the Sports City.

The project will allow us to own a modern sports stadium for the first time since independence.

The benefits the facilities will bring to the nation – financially, socially and physically – will also be many.

It’s a project that is worthy of our thanks and unwavering support.

And so we thank China and its people for funding it.

For it will help the country to finally host the region’s biggest sporting event – the Pacific Games.