Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President Ian Chesterman has been elected to the Executive Board of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC).
Chesterman secured the position after beating three other candidates in a vote at the ONOC General Assembly in Australian city Brisbane.
The annual meeting came at the end of a busy week in Brisbane where representatives from 17 National Olympic Committees discussed efforts to grow Olympic sports in the region.
Delegates also had the opportunity to talk about plans for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games which are due to be staged in Brisbane.
Chesterman said he was honoured to be elected to the ONOC Executive Board as Brisbane prepares to stage the Games in nine years’ time.
“The Olympic Movement can play a great role in bringing people together,” said Chesterman.
“In the Pacific region we have shared values and shared friendship.
“My thanks to the members of ONOC today for giving me the opportunity to contribute.
“Australia has been a proud contributor to ONOC since its inception in 1982.
“Of course, the Brisbane 2032 Games will be a home Games for people right across the Pacific.
“The Games’ Organising Committee has committed to providing high-performance training opportunities, international competitions here and community sports and health programmes for countries within Oceania.
“Together we can use the runway to Brisbane to make a meaningful difference to the lives of many in the Pacific and importantly build a much stronger sports system throughout Oceania to serve the lead in to the 2032 Games and for many decades after that as well.”
His election comes 12 months after Chesterman was voted in as AOC President, replacing John Coates, who stepped down after 32 years in charge of the organisation.
Chesterman was first elected to the AOC Executive in 2011 before becoming vice-president in 2016 and was named an AOC Life Member in 2018.
The 64-year-old has been Chef de Mission of the Australian delegation at several Winter Olympics including Nagano 1998, Salt Lake City 2002, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 and led the team at last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
He said he was focused on helping athletes from across the region qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“It was a great pleasure for the AOC to partner with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide assistance to 76 athletes from 11 countries in the Pacific to train, prepare and ultimately attend the Tokyo 2020 Games against the very difficult backdrop of the COVID pandemic,” added Chesterman.
“The AOC, as a proud member of ONOC, stands ready to assist our Pacific neighbours as we look towards Paris.
“Indeed, ahead of Paris we have the Pacific Games to be held in the Solomon Islands in November this year, a chance for several sports to qualify for Paris.
“Australia will be sending a contingent likely to be around 120 people and we are looking forward to that opportunity,” he said.
SOURCE: INSIDDE THE GAME/PACNEWS