The Solomon Games have officially opened in the Solomon Islands – a key event before the country’s hosting of the Pacific Games in November and December.

Nine sports are on the programme at the event which sees the country’s different provinces send teams to compete against each other.

These are 3×3 basketball, athletics, beach volleyball, boxing, canoeing, netball, rugby sevens, taekwondo and volleyball.

Manasseh Sogavare, the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, was present at the opening of the Games.

“It is a very important platform for our respective sports federations and our National Olympic Committee to scout exceptional and upcoming talents that could make it to Team Solomon at this year’s Pacific Games,” he said, according to the Solomon Star.

“Sports is the glue that holds us together.

“It binds us.

“It brings the best out of us, as individuals, as provinces, as a nation.

“We witness that again today and over the next few days our national capital and our nation will unite behind you, our sports people, competing in the Solomon Games.”

The Pacific Games are due to take place between November 19 and December 2, with Solomon Islands hosting for the first time.

Solo, the turtle mascot for the Pacific Games, was invited to stand with the flagbearers of the nine competing provinces during a special Solomon Games ceremony.