By Taromane Martin
Solomon Islands Prime Minister Mannasseh Sogavare and a number of his government Ministers had paid a visit to the soon to be completed Solomon Islands National Institute of Sports (SINIS) building yesterday.
Members of the National Sports Council (NSC), National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI), the Sol2023 National Hosting Authority (NHA) and the 2023 Pacific Games Council office also joined the site visit yesterday.
The SINSI building will feature a multi-sports training and conditioning facility. It will be the first facilities for the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara that will be completed. The building is earmarked for completion and officially opened in May.
The visit was to witness firsthand the progress on the work of the government’s first-ever dedicated investment to Sports Development in the Solomon Islands.
“Today we are 852 days away from the Games. With God’s help, we will succeed,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
“What we witness here today explains a key reason why this country had not been performing to our potential in national, regional, and international sporting events and competitions, Simply, we had not taken sports development as seriously as many of our neighboring countries.
“That explains why even much smaller countries have out-performed Solomon Islands, the third largest country in the Pacific Islands in regional and international sports competitions.
“Our country has the talents in all the sports that will be played during the 2023 Pacific Games. What we have not had is a ‘sports development facility and a dedicated sports development programme’ to further develop, harness and sharpen the skills of our athletes to be competitive.
“Colleagues, what we witness here today is the start of our journey in ‘dedicated sports development’ in Solomon Islands.
“This facility will support sports development programs for at least 20 of the 24 sports listed in the 2023 Pacific Games.
“I thank the NHA under the leadership of the Chairman and the Board for the vision that will leave behind a legacy for sports development in this country – a legacy that for the first time put our sports people, our youths at the centre of our human development aspirations.
“This facility is totally funded by the Solomon Islands government through the NHA. It comes complete with its own Solar installation to power the electrical needs of the facility long-term.
“By the time it is completed, it will cost around 20 million Solomon dollars representing one of the best investments this country has made because its impact will live on, and it will be enjoyed every day by our sporting talents in the country.
“The chairman of the NHA has informed me that we will also be building a 2,000 square metre National Sports Haus that will host all the National Sports Federations after the Games – another first for the country.
“Apart from Rugby and Soccer, all other Sports Federations do not have their own offices. The National Sports Haus will not only provide an office for each of them, but it is also intended to host the National Sports Council, the National Olympics Committee of Solomon Islands.
“We will also have a 70-metres by 30 meters training field and a 4-6-lane 60-meter sprint training track. We will also install a temporary swimming pool for conditioning training using a 40 feet container,” Sogavare adds.
The Prime Minister meanwhile also acknowledged the General Manager of the CCECC and his team for the wonderful work done so far to build the facility for Solomon Islands.
The PM said once all these facilities are completed, Solomon Islands will have one of the best, if not the best National Institute of Sports in Pacific Island countries.
The Prime Minister yesterday too also made a brief visit to the Indonesia funded Futsal Stadium site, which the construction has already kicked off.