Premier Pongi backs RFC 2024 in Honiara

BY ELTON LONARATHA JNR

RENBEL Provincial Premier Derek Pongi announced his government’s support for hosting the Renbel Football Championship 2024 (RFC24) in Honiara during the official opening ceremony at the East End Stadium yesterday. In his speech, Premier Pongi emphasized that the Renbel Province is not confined to its physical and political boundaries.

“I have noticed that some critics have pointed out that such competitions should be played back home in our province. However, I want to assure the organizers of this championship and participating teams that our government fully supports this initiative,” said Pongi.

He highlighted that the identity of the province is defined by its people, regardless of their location, whether in Honiara, overseas, or elsewhere.

“Our people define the boundaries of our province, regardless of where they reside – in Honiara or overseas or anywhere else. Their presence makes that place part of our province,” Pongi added.

Premier Pongi also spoke about the broader significance of the Renbel Football Championship. He noted that the event is not just about competition but also about the journey taken together as a community. The championship aims to build partnerships, foster relationships, and create a sense of unity among the people.

“Football can help us learn valuable lessons about teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship. These core values are essential for building strong individuals and communities,” he said.

Pongi pointed out that while the people of Renbel have a passion for sports, this interest has not been reflected in the province’s budget over the years.

“It’s a known fact that our people love to play and talk about sports. However, over the years, this interest has not been reflected in our province’s budget. This important part of our society has not been a priority when it comes to funding,” he remarked.

He assured the audience that the new government is committed to supporting sportsmen and women starting this year and into the future.

“I want to assure you all that our new government will do our best to support our sportsmen and women as of this year and onwards,” Pongi promised.

In his closing remarks, Premier Pongi expressed his gratitude to the organizers for inviting him to officially open the championship.

Pongi’s support and assurances mark a significant step towards recognizing the importance of sports within the Renbel community, both locally and abroad. The RFC24 not only provides a platform for showcasing football talent but also serves as a testament to the community’s resilience, unity, and passion for sports.

The championship is expected to foster a stronger sense of identity and community among the people of Renbel, no matter where they reside.

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