Sports in a challenging region
For SIDS in the Pacific Ocean, the acute challenge of achieving sporting governance and administration (organised sport) to levels that took developed nations to achieve with relative ease on existing foundations of centuries-old Western or European models of political, economic, and social organisation is impeded by the complexity of navigating traditional and indigenous cultures divergent to Western models.
This is exacerbated by limited natural resources, small and fragile economies, distance, communications, natural hazards (cyclones/typhoons, earthquakes, tsunami, droughts, and volcanic activity), non-communicable diseases (NCDs), emigration (with resulting depopulation in some countries), and climate change.
This reality underscores the importance of regional sporting events and participation.
The Pacific Games
For most ONOC Member NOCs and Associate Members, the Pacific Games, formerly the South Pacific Games (SPG) provides this avenue. The Pacific Games are delivered by the Pacific Games Council, one of ONOC’s key partners. A link is provided at the end of this page.
The Pacific Games is significant for ONOC because it is ‘treated’ as the Continental Games for the Oceania Continent as it is generally used as the qualification games for the Olympic Games. Of the ONOC members, Australia and New Zealand (NZ) have joined the Pacific Games as Associate Members, now meaning all ONOC member NOCs are part of the Games.
The importance of Regional Games
Having the opportunity to design a sporting event, preparing athletes for participation, and exercising friendship and cooperation in sharing training facilities prior to the Pacific Games builds national and NOC confidence and boosts morale. This applies to both athletes and sports leaders and administrators.
Participation in the regional event presents monitoring or progress mechanisms for athletes and administrators in terms of their physical and mental fitness, funding status, operations status, governance position, and of personal and organisational readiness toward international competition.