By Taromane Martin
FATE of the 2018 Solomon Games in Rennell and Bellona Province in November is still yet to be confirmed.
The hosting of the games came under question last month after it was announced via Facebook that Prime Minister Rick Hounipwela had told Member of Parliament for Rennell and Bellona Dr Tautai Anigikimua Kaituu via text messaging that the games were now postponed for 2019, with named Honiara as the new host.
Vice Chairman for the Renbel Solomon Games, Mr Nick Hatigeva said the National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI) had convened a joint meeting with members of the Renbel Solomon Games task force and the local organizing committee Thursday last week, to review NOCSI’s report regarding their first visit to the province in June.
Mr Hatigeva said last weeks’ meeting was good but hopes the leaders can have a change of heart and let Renbel host the games.
“NOCSI convened a joint meeting with members of the Renbel Solomon Games Task Force and LOC at the NOCSI conference center to review NOCSI’s report/presentation that will be submitted/presented to caucus today and presented to the cabinet early next week,” Mr Hatigeva said.
“It was a good meeting where good ideas were tossed around and agreed on and one that enabled participating stakeholders to be on the same page regarding the Solomon Games matters.
“Let’s wish the president of NOCSI and his team all the best as they prepare to present the Renbel Solomon Games case to the national government and let’s hope that our national leaders will be kind to us, by giving Renbel the green light to go ahead and host,” he said.
Hatigeva said at the moment they are still waiting official decisions from cabinet and hopes they have a change of heart and allow their province to host the games.
“To date the Renbel provincial government, the Renbel Task Force and the Solomon Games LOC have not received any official notice from the national government nor from NOCSI.
“So the Renbel Solomon Games Task Force had decided to strive to complete some of its tasks at hand and complete the report on the 2m funding that was received from the national government in June this year, whilst waiting and hoping for a change of heart by the national government,” Hatigeva earlier said.
A move which saw Renbel Province Premier Mr Collin Singamoana calling on both leaders to stop politicizing the games and not to interfere with their province’s preparation to host the national games.
NOCSI is planning to make a second visit to the province this month for their second assessment on ground preparations according to Chairman for national events commission Mr Morris Maitaki .
“Point is Renbel has learnt from these shortcomings and shortsightedness experienced during the past Solomon Games and we are prepared to offer a better tournament compared to previous ones,” Mr Hatigeva said.