2019 Pacific Games

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The 2019 Pacific Games are scheduled to be the sixteenth edition of the Pacific Games. They will be held in Nukuʻalofa, Tonga.

Hosting bid[edit]

Tonga and French Polynesia (Tahiti) were the two countries to submit hosting bids. The final presentations of the bids were made on 19 October 2012 in Wallis & Futuna. Tahiti's presentation was led by the country's Minister for Education, Youth and Sports, Tauhiti Nena; Tonga's was led by Crown Prince Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala, by the President of the Tonga Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee, Lord Tupou, and by Minister for Sports Lord Vaea. Paea Wolfgramm, Tonga's only Olympic medallist at that time (he had won a silver in weightlifting at the 1996 Summer Olympics) also spoke during his country's presentation. Tonga had never hosted the Games; its bid to host the 2015 Games had been defeated by Papua New Guinea's. Tahiti had hosted the Games twice, in 1971 and 1995.[1][2][3]

In its bid, French Polynesia emphasised "its successful experiences of hosting international sporting events". It noted that its planned investments in sports infrastructures would "intensify sport practice of several tens of thousands of citizens and rise to the high-level several hundreds of young Polynesians", and suggested that the Games would "contribute to a better insertion of our country" into the Pacific region, highlighting the positive values of a shared "Polynesian soul".[4]

In his written submission to the Pacific Games Council in April 2012, Tongan Prime Minister Lord Tuʻivakano referred to his country's transition to democracy with the November 2010 general election, and suggested that awarding the Games to Tonga would "send a strong and unmistakable signal in support of democracy in our region". The then-Minister for Sports Sosefo Vakata asked the Council to grant the Games to a country that had not hosted them yet, in the name of equality and so that Tonga might enjoy "the benefits that other bigger economies in the region have enjoyed since the Game’s inception". He also reminded the Council that Tonga had the experience of having hosted the 1989 Pacific Mini Games, though "nothing can equal the greatest gathering in the region which the Pacific Games is proud of". The country proposed an upgrade of its sports facilities, notably the Teufaiva Stadium for athletics, the Lototonga Football Complex, and the ‘Atele Indoor Stadium to host six sporting events. A new sports complex would be built at Lototonga for a number of other events, as would a Lototonga Aquatic Centre.[5]

Following its successful bid, Tonga hoped for investments to build venues and facilities, particularly from China and Japan.[1]

Sports[edit]

Tonga's bid offered the ten compulsory sports for both genders (athletics, basketball, golf, swimming, table tennis, tennis, vaʻa, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, and weightlifting), the two compulsory sports for men only (football and rugby sevens), twelve optional sports for both genders (archery, baseball, body building, cricket, field hockey, judo, lawn bowls, powerlifting, softball, surfing, taekwondo and triathlon), two optional sports for men (boxing and rugby league sevens) and two optional sports for women (football and netball).[5]

References[edit]