Whales is looking forward to this year's Pacific Games.
Challenge, Celebrate, Unite.
With fewer than 100 days to go, the 2023 Pacific Games are set to take centre stage in the Oceania region. This sporting event has a rich history, dating back to the first South Pacific Games held in Suva, Fiji, in 1963.
The last games took place in Apia, Samoa, in 2019, confirming its reputation as a platform for exceptional athletic talent. This time, the Games are heading to the Solomon Islands, where Honiara will host thousands of competitors and spectators from across the Pacific with growing excitement. As the countdown continues, let's delve into the legacy, anticipation, and vibrant spirit of the 2023 Pacific Games.
SOL2023: Pacific Games 2023
Solomon Islands were selected to host 2023 Pacific Games back in July 2017. This year, approximately 5,000 participants from 24 countries will compete in the total of 24 categories for about two-weeks period from 18th of November 2023.
Behind The Scenes
The origins of the Pacific Games can be traced back to the visionary Dr. A.H. Sahu Khan, Fiji's representative at a pivotal meeting of the South Pacific Commission in 1959. His vision culminated in the gathering of nine Territories in Nouméa in March 1961, where Fiji was granted the honour of hosting the inaugural Games. Little did they know that this humble beginning would evolve into a major sporting event celebrated across the Oceania region. The event was formerly known as "South Pacific Games" until 2015 congregation where Australia and New Zealand were invited to take part of the competition.
Behind the fields and stadiums, the Pacific Games Council (PGC) diligently oversees the intricate organisation and preparation required by the host city.
The PGC is made up of officially recognised National Multisport Organisations from countries and territories that are members of the Pacific Community.
Currently, there are 22 members, with 15 of them also being members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Notably, the Pitcairn Islands are the only Pacific Community member that is not part of the Pacific Games Council, while Norfolk Island was accepted as a Council member even though it is not a member of the Pacific Community.
In July 2014, the Oceania National Olympic Committees voted to allow Australia and New Zealand to participate in the 2015 Pacific Games. Concerns about these economically developed nations dominating the competition had previously led to their exclusion. However, they were permitted to compete in specific sports like rugby sevens, sailing, taekwondo, and weightlifting, where other Pacific countries had demonstrated competitiveness against them in the past. Australia and New Zealand have continued to compete on an invitation basis.
In 2018, the Council introduced an "associate membership" category for other territories in Oceania. Potential candidates for this membership include Easter Island, West Papua, Hawaii, and Christmas Island.
"The very first games, previously known as "South Pacific Games ", was held in Fiji in 1963."
"Pacific Games Council (PGC). image source: https://www.oceanianoc.org/partners/pgc"
"Australia does not take part in the competition this year, but the federal government is supporting the hosting government with AUD $17M (SBD $100M) donation."
How it plays
In terms of competition, the Pacific Games adhere to a time-honoured tradition by awarding gold, silver, and bronze medals, signifying first, second, and third place, respectively. This medal system resonates with the global sporting community, serving as a universal symbol of excellence and a fitting reward for the unwavering dedication of athletes.
One intriguing facet of the Pacific Games is the diverse array of sports on display. As of December 2017, an impressive 37 sports had received approval from the Pacific Games Council. However, in accordance with the Pacific Games Charter, the number of sports will be streamlined to a maximum of 24, commencing with the 2023 Games. This strategic shift underscores the commitment to quality over quantity, ensuring that each sport truly embodies the spirit of the Pacific Games.
Looking ahead to the 2023 Pacific Games, 24 sports will be featured, including 17 core sports that are now a permanent fixture, starting from this edition. This decision guarantees a consistent and thrilling experience for both athletes and fans alike.
17 Core Sports of the Pacific Games:
"Added to the list this year are bodybuilding, field hockey, Karate, netball, and powerlifting."
The idea of "Inclusion"
One noteworthy aspect that sets the Pacific Games apart is their steadfast commitment to inclusivity. Athletes with disabilities are embraced as integral members of their national teams, echoing the event's core values of equality and diversity.
"Inclusivity and diversity shine at the Pacific Games as athletes with disabilities are celebrated as vital members of their national teams."
One more thing to "Voice"
Additionally, the 2023 Pacific Games, known as SOL2023, exemplify their dedication to environmental stewardship through the selection of their official mascot, "SOLO," a turtle. SOLO represents the Games' strong focus on leatherback turtle conservation, serving as a symbol of their commitment to protecting these magnificent creatures and advocating for marine life preservation.
The excitement of us
As the clock ticks down, the excitement for the Pacific Games continues to grow, and it's not just about the competition; it's a celebration of unity among nations, fuelled by a shared passion for athleticism and sportsmanship.
At Whales Workforce, we're particularly thrilled to be part of this extraordinary sporting spectacle to share with our PALM members.
As November approaches, we eagerly anticipate the camaraderie and the moments of triumph that will define this event, bringing together our diverse workforce and the spirit of the Pacific Games.