Solomon Islands will host the region’s biggest ever sporting event, the 17th edition of the Pacific Games in Honiara this year (2023).
The Pacific Games (formerly known as the South Pacific Games or SPG) was established in the 1960s by the then South Pacific Games Council (now the Pacific Games Council) with the vision to promote a unique, friendly world-class competition and Games to develop sport for the benefit of the people, the nations and the territories of the Pacific Community.
“The South Pacific Games was established with the view to creating bonds of kindred friendship and brotherhood amongst people of the countries of the Pacific region through sporting exchange without any distinctions as to race, religion or politics. The South Pacific Games was to ensure the efficient promotion and development of sports amongst the South Pacific Nations and their peoples,” as stated in the event’s historical brief.
In 2006, a new Charter and name was agreed upon at the General Assembly in Apia, Samoa; the Pacific Games Council (in place of the South Pacific Games Council) and the Pacific Games (in place of the South Pacific Games).
The name South Pacific Games was officially changed to the Pacific Games after the 2007 Games in Apia, Samoa.
Since its change of names, the Games Charter also had to be revised and modernized in light of changes in the region and the change place of Sport in our society.
A statement from the PGC website stated; “the Pacific Games as it is now known, proceed into the future as the physical representation of the Pacific Communities as they move forward from the first South Pacific Games in Fiji in 1963. The Pacific Games maintain a high standing within the Regional Sporting Calendar and a growing reputation for sporting excellence.
Laurel Tasa, the 2023 Pacific Games Organizing Committee’s (GOC) Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications said that everyone needs to start getting used to calling it the Pacific Games – and not South Pacific Games or SP Games.
“It is important that our people who will be the host of these Games are able to familiarize and understand the significance of this name change. Since the Apia General Assembly in 2006, it (the Games) is no longer the South Pacific Games (SPG) as many refer to, but officially the Pacific Games,” she said.
Meanwhile the GOC’s Community Engagement team have continued to raise awareness throughout the country through the Games Mascot nationwide tour and the recently launched Games Ambassadors tour.
“We are continuously raising awareness throughout our communities in the provinces and here in Honiara on the Pacific Games. We do hope that it will help improve people’s understanding about the region’s biggest sporting event – the Pacific Games,” Tasa said.
This year’s Pacific Games will be held from November 19th to December 2nd, 2023. It will feature a total of 24 countries, competing in 24 sports and expected to draw in more than 8,000 plus visitors and athletes during Games time.