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Pacific region set to benefit from increased solidarity funding
6:08 pm GMT+12, 13/03/2017, Fiji

Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC) President Robin Mitchell has revealed the Pacific region will benefit from a 14 per cent increase in solidarity funding.
 
The increase will be felt across the four-year period from 2017 to 2020, with the funding coming through the International Olympic Commitee's (IOC) Olympic Solidarity programme.
 
"There is an increase in Olympic solidarity funding of 14 per cent from the last four years," Mitchell said, according to the Fiji Sun.
 
"After the London Olympics in 2012 there was an increase of 13 per cent and it has gone up for the next four years."
 
In November, the IOC Executive Board approved a total development and assistance budget of $509 million (£406 million/€467 million) for the 2017-2020 cycle, taken out of the broadcast rights share from Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018.
 
This marked an increase from the total figure of $440 million (£351 million/€404 million) for the previous four years.
 
Mitchell was speaking ahead of the ONOC Annual General Assembly, which is scheduled to begin later this month in Fiji.
 
A series of workshops and Commission meetings will take place on March 30 and 31, with the General Assembly set to be held at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa on April 1.
 
"There will be discussions on the 2017 Vanuatu Mini Games, 2019 Pacific Games in Tonga, the Education Commission meeting and the elections," Mitchell said.
 
“We have received nominations from various National Olympic Committees for the elections of new executives for women in sports, Athletes' Commission and other positions."
The Tonga 2019 Pacific Games is likely to be one of the key subjects at the General Assembly, with doubts persisting over whether the country will be able to stage the event.
 
Tongan Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pōhiva cast doubt on their ability to host the event back in October, when he warned a number of construction projects for the Games are unlikely to meet deadlines.
 
He reportedly told Parliament that a piece of land to build an 18-hole golf course had not yet been found, before warning it would then take four years to get the facility ready.
 
Pōhiva claimed renovation work at the Teufaiva Sport Stadium in the country’s capital Nukuʻalofa, and the building of new facilities at the Tonga High School, would not be completed by May 2017 as had been promised.
 
Pacific Games Council (PGC) President Vidhya Lakhan has repeatedly pledged his support for Tonga to host the Games but suggestions were made last year that Fiji could be in a position to step in.

SOURCE: INSIDE THE GAMES/PACNEWS


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