Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare was paid a courtesy visit today by the Captain and Goalkeeper of the Australian national women’s hockey team.
Hockeyroos Captain Jane Claxton and Goalkeeper Rachel Lynch arrived in Honiara yesterday along with the Secretary-General of the Oceania Hockey Federation, Bob Claxton and Continental Development Manager, Ms Gemming, on an Australian Hockeyroos Support Outreach in the capital.
The visit is part of an Australian Government initiative, the Pacific Sports Partnerships Innovation Fund 2015-17, in partnership with the Oceania Hockey Federation and Hockey Australia, and with the support of the Solomon Islands Hockey Federation.
During this three-day outreach programme, Ms Claxton and Ms Lynch will lead hockey clinics for students at King George VI School, Saint Nicholas College, Vura Community School, Honiara High School and Woodford International School.
The Prime Minister heard from Ms Claxton and Ms Lynch that Solomon Islanders greatly appreciate and are passionate about hockey and that this sport can become a whole family sport in Solomon Islands as it is now in Australia.
He also heard from them that a few students from the schools which they visited yesterday were very good in hockey and could even be recruited to play for Australia.
In response, Prime Minister welcomed the Australian Hockeyroos Support Outreach Team and wished them well during their stay in Honiara.
He also commended the Australian Government for initiating the Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) Innovation Fund 2015-17 which he believes will go a long way in encouraging sports partnerships and activities in the Pacific that complement the PSP programme.
The $29 million program is Australia’s flagship sport for development program in the Pacific.
Through PSP, Australia supports activities to address primary risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, particularly physical inactivity, and address inequalities experienced by women, girls and people living with disability.
PSP is delivered through partnerships between the Australian Government and Australian, regional and Pacific Island sports organisations. The PSP currently supports eleven sports across nine countries
The Hockeyroos Captain and Goalkeeper were accompanied on the courtesy visit to the Prime Minister by Mr Claxton and Ms Gemming as well as the Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Roderick Brazier and Counsellor (Political) of the Australian High Commission in Honiara, Ms Fiona Hoggart and President of Solomon Islands Hockey Association, Mr Nihal Seneviratne.