Shannon Sogavare: Juggling Studies and Table Tennis at the 17th Pacific Games
By Lynton A. Filia
Shannon Sogavare, daughter of the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, showcased her prowess in Table Tennis singles at the 17th Pacific Games, representing Team Solomon in the singles category, proudly embracing her heritage from Malaita and Choiseul provinces.
Stepping into the Table Tennis arena yesterday morning, Shannon embarked on a series of matches within her pool, facing off against competitors from Vanuatu, Nauru and New Caledonia. Her first victory came against Vanuatu and Nauru, triumphing with a set win.
However, she faced a tough match against New Caledonia, resulting in a loss.
Competing within a small pool of four players requires securing two wins to progress to the next round. Shannon’s perseverance and skill allowed her to advance, ensuring her place in the upcoming rounds.
Reflecting on the challenging matches, Shannon acknowledged the experience of her opponents, admitting that this marked her debut in the Pacific Games’ Table Tennis category. Despite their expertise, Shannon remained firm, striving to do her best and bring pride to her country, Solomon Islands.
Her training stint in China, where she juggled Table Tennis training with her studies, proved invaluable. Such intense training had prepared her mentally and physically which she drew upon this experience to compete in this Pacific Games.
“My training in China was a juggle between studies and training sessions. Sometimes I had to focus on academics, and at other times, it was all about intense training. Working with highly experienced coaches there mentally and physically prepared me significantly for the challenges of the Pacific Games.
While proud to represent the Solomon Islands, Shannon faced the sacrifice of pausing her studies to participate in this prestigious sporting event. With classes continuing back in China, Shannon’s dedication to waving Solomon Islands’ flag at the Pacific Games superseded her academic commitments.
“Returning to the Solomon Islands and setting aside my studies to represent my country Solomon Islands in the Pacific Games fills me with pride for our national flag. While classes and school carry on, I’ve had to take a pause in my academic pursuits.”
Shannon expresses pride in her table tennis team’s performance, affirming their commitment to giving their all. She highlights the mixer of players and newcomers within their squad as a positive move to learn from each other.
Despite the challenges faced, especially balancing her studies and sporting preparation, Shannon expressed she remains confident and understand the importance of education alongside her sporting aspirations. –ENDS//