BY PETER ZOLEVEKE II
As the challenge in finding sports venues in Honiara continues due to the country’s preparations for the hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games, NOCSI is turning to the provinces for support.
In an interview with SunSPORTS this week NOCSI President Martin Rara said they have been taking initial steps in identifying potential sites in the provinces to hosts athletes training and competitions to prepare Team Solomon for the Pacific Games 2023
NOCSI had done a provincial site assessment since 2020 on six provinces and they have identified Malaita, Western province (Tuna Park) and Central Island province.
Rara confirmed three provinces as potentials candidates to host the athlete’s preparations as the wait for the completion of sports facilities in the capital also continues.
“Since most training grounds have been occupied for the construction of facilities in Honiara and seeing the borders are yet closed to travel now we are reaching out to the provinces,” Rara said.
“What that has been done since last year as to preparation of athletes is that seeing that borders have been closed from allowing our athletes to train overseas now the current move now is prepare within the country,” says Rara.
“Identifications done now are three provinces that are able to accommodate Team Solomon preparations through some sports.
“Few small patches needed for very basic facilities available on the ground that were left behind during the Solomon Games facilities can able to accommodate our athletes now as we continue to wait for the High – Performance center and other facilities to complete.
He says NOCSI will then meet with national sports federation (NFs) with its assessment report before the deployment of its athletes.
“So the options NOCSI will pass on the NFs to look at what they have according to their programs to design their programs fitting for the provincial facilities.
“The focus on the identification of sites for Team Solomon before the message to be passed on to the national federations for them to actually deploy teams, hosts championships to the places, so a report will be finalized after on the assessments and this is where NOCSI will draw out what sports to be allocated to which province.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy Ambassador Li Ming has assured that with the country’s bilateral ties China will support Team Solomon athletes to train in their country.
“NFs now will have to get their competitions going on these identified provinces to come up with their team so that those selected in each federation will make up the numbers to go to China,” Rara says.