Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare MP was the guest of honor at the fundraiser event of the Solomon Islands Outrigger and Canoe Federation during the weekend. The fundraiser attracted support from numerous individuals, companies and government institutions. Prime Minister Sogavare attended the event not only as the head of the government but also as the Minister of the 2023 Pacific Games. In his speech, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare congratulated the Solomon Islands Outrigger and Canoe Federation (SIOCF) for its “…commitment to see the paddling sport grow in our country”. PM Sogavare made the assurance that government is committed to support the development of the “paddling sport” in the country.
“We are a maritime country. Our ancestors have been paddling our waters for centuries. Our warriors have been paddling our war canoes, raiding villages and taking heads as trophies. We are known as headhunters. But come November, we will not be hunting for heads, we will be hunting for medals. Let us show the Pacific who we are”, the Prime Minister stated.
In his closing remarks, PM Sogavare encouraged the Va’a competitors with an excerpt from the Holy Book, he quoted Philippians four verse 13 “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength”.
He further added the Bible quote from Luke one verse 31 “with God nothing will be impossible”. “Stay focused on your training and do your best as you represent our country and fly our Flag in this year’s Pacific Games. Do yourself, your family and this country proud,” the Prime Minister stated.
The Solomon Islands Outrigger and Canoe Federation (SIOCF) will compete in all three categories of the Va’a paddling event, namely; the V1 event – which is a single person event, the V 6 event – which is a six-people event, and the V12 event – which is a twelve people event. On two previous outings, Solomon Islands reached semi- finals. Though the sport is relatively new, canoeing is natural to most of the populace.
Source: PRESS SECRETARIAT OPMC