Australian sports programme boosts Pacific athletes preparation for Olympic and Paralympics

The PacificAusSports partnership was launched today in Sydney.

This unites over 170 Olympic and Paralympic athletes from 11 Pacific nations to prepare for Tokyo 2020. Pita Taufatofua was invited to represent Tonga at the event.

With support from the Australian Government’s PacificAus Sports programme, Pacific teams and athletes will be able to train and compete in qualification events, giving them the greatest opportunity to realise their Olympic and Paralympic dreams.

Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne, said sport sits close to the heart of Australia’s special bond with the Blue Pacific.

“Sport provides a powerful linkage between countries in our region and it is important our talented sportspeople have the opportunity to compete at an elite level to do themselves and their nations proud,” said Minister Payne.

An estimated 150 Olympic athletes from the Pacific Island nations of Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu are looking to secure a spot on their respective Olympic Games’ teams.

An additional twenty Paralympic athletes will represent Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, PNG, Kiribati, Samoa and Tonga at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Oceania Paralympic President Paul Bird thanked the Australian Government for its support of Paralympians across the region on their journey to Tokyo.

“This funding is vital to assist our Pacific Island Paralympians to reach their goals and achieve their best in Tokyo. Like all athletes, they have been impacted by the pandemic and this support will ensure they are able to train and prepare for the Games.”

The upcoming international multi-sport event is scheduled to be held from 23 July – 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.


Photo supplied  Caption: Launch of the PacificAusSports Partnership programme in Sydney, Australia.