The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) officially launched its Ambassadors program today in Honiara.

The Ambassador’s programme is the second phase of GOCs Community Engagement Strategy Program, which comprises of 10 former and current Solomon Islands elite athletes who have represented the country in the previous Pacific Games, regional and international events.

Today’s event saw the selected ambassadors signing their contract with GOC, in the presence of GOC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Peter Stewart and Chairman Martin Rara.

GOC CEO Peter Stewart and Chairman Martin Rara with the ambassadors after the launching

As sport ambassadors, they will be touring their respective provinces to give awareness by sharing their experiences and achievements, as a way of promoting the importance of hosting the games in the country.

Speaking to SIBC, Mr. Stewart said they hope the ambassadors can inspire children across the country.

“These are elite level athletes who not only aspire to participate in highest level, but have achieved that, and we want to use that inspiration of their life and story to inspire young children throughout Solomon Islands to continue to participate in sport, and to continue to be involved in sport.”

“And for them to see that there is a pathway between their local village and their local competition all the way to the Pacific Games, to the Commonwealth Games and potentially the Olympic Games. The ambassadors embody that aspiration.”

24-year-old Tennis Athlete, Benjamin Junior is the youngest to be selected in the Ambassadors Program.

Tennis athlete Benjamin Junior

Representing Western Province, Junior looks forward to sharing the excitement of the game to his province.

“It is a great feeling to be the youngest selected to be in this program, and more exciting that we’ll get to travel to our provinces to share the excitement of the games to them as most of them won’t be able to watch the games here.

So, it is an honor that we will be able to do that for them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Para-athlete Hellen Saohaga also shared her excitement to be one of the selected Pacific Games ambassadors.

Hellen Saohaga signing her contract

“I can’t even explain how happy I am as I did not expect them to select me to be an ambassador for the games.

I am just proud to be able to represent my province and my country. I also encourage my fellow para-athletes to continue to work hard towards the Pacific Games this year.”

The selected Ambassadors are:

  • Chris Votu- Guadalcanal Province (Athletics)
  • Batram Suri- Malaita Province (Soccer)
  • Hellen Saohaga- Rennell and Bellona Province (Short Put/ Table Tennis)
  • Jenly Wini- Malaita (Weightlifting)
  • Jim Marau- Makira Province (Athletics- 100m race)
  • Joseph Saimai- Shortland, Western Province (Boxing)
  • Benjamin Junior- Western Province (Tennis)
  • Primo Higa- Makira Ulawa Province (Athletics)
  • Timothy Inifiri- Malaita Province (Soccer)
  • Jay Makana- Choiseul Province (Boxing)

Chris Votu will be kicking off the Ambassadors Tour this month to Guadalcanal Province.


By Eliza Kukutu & Crofton Utukana

Share This