Pacific Games

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Pacific Games
Pacific Games Council.png
Abbreviation PAG
First event 1963
Occur every 4 years
Headquarters Suva, Fiji
President Vidhya Lakhan
Website Official website

The Pacific Games (formerly known as the South Pacific Games) is a multi-sport event, much like the Olympic Games (albeit on a smaller scale), with participation exclusively from countries around the South Pacific Ocean. It is held every four years and began in 1963, hosted by Suva, Fiji.

History[edit]

Concept[edit]

The idea of holding the South Pacific Games originated with Dr A.H. Sahu Khan who was one of Fiji's representatives at a meeting of the South Pacific Commission held at Rabaul during 1959, the idea was adopted and led to a meeting of nine Territories, held in Nouméa during March 1961, which awarded Fiji the honour of hosting the very first Games.[1]

Creation[edit]

During 1962, the South Pacific Commission founded the South Pacific Games Council, with the first ever Games being held at Suva, Fiji; in the 40 years since, Games have been held in 12 countries and territories within the region. Initially the Games were held at three-year intervals although this was subsequently expanded to four following the Tumon Games in Guam.

As a residual consequence of the European colonisation of the Pacific from the early part of the 18th Century onwards, many nations who participated in the first Games (of 1963) were under predominantly British or French territorial rule. Understandably this generated a certain amount of confusion as both British and French flags and national anthems dominated proceedings and were occasionally used together for winning countries.
Western Samoa (now Samoa) was the only country with a flag and anthem of its sovereignty as it was the only participating independent island nation at that time. As time went on, fledgling nations gradually achieving sovereignty of their own sought to extricate themselves from their colonial past and new national anthems and flags emerged. Nevertheless, English and French remain the official languages of the Games.[2]

Like other sporting events, the South Pacific Games has experienced slight controversies. A minor dispute that still continues today is the scheduling of events landing on a Sunday. Throughout the Pacific, the Christian Sabbath remains very important (sporting events or similar activity are illegal in Tonga for example) and scheduling at such a time would be frowned upon. The events themselves have also been affected by religious sensitivities, notably beach volleyball where the official uniform of bikinis for women has been forced to give way to more conservative attire,[3] however other larger nations within the region or those loosely associated with more secular states (e.g. Cook Islands (New Zealand), American Samoa (United States), and French Polynesia (France)) are more moderate in this regard.

Other global and regional events have also influenced and shaped the Games' history; in 1995, the year Papeete, Tahiti hosted the Games, many countries took the decision to boycott as a direct protest at French nuclear testing in the Pacific.[4] The Games, however, returned to near full regional participation in the following event in 1999, held on Guam.

The first objective of the Pacific Games Council, according to its Charter,[5] is

"To create bonds of kindred friendship and brotherhood amongst people of the countries of the Pacific region through sporting exchange without any distinctions as to race, religion or politics."

The Games were initiated to promote and develop sport amongst the nations and peoples of the South Pacific,[1] after fifty years in existence, The South Pacific Commission changed its name to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in 1998.[1]

Modern day games[edit]

The XII South Pacific Games held in Suva, Fiji saw for the first time the introduction of a full program of 32 sports.[6] That program included sports that are synonymous with the Pacific region as well as sports that have a limited participation and are generally not well established.

A strong corporate sponsorship package a first for the games enabled the organizers to work with a free hand towards their aims of making the games a success. A colorful and effective media and publicity campaign generated much interest and enthusiasm among the public in Fiji. Schools and youth groups were involved in interactive programs such as the adopt-a-country program also a first for the games.[7]

The XIII Pacific Games were hosted in Apia, Samoa, they were the 13th to have been held since 1963. In contrast to the Olympic Games which are expected to generate income for the host nation,[8] the 2007 Pacific Games were expected to leave Samoa US$92million in debt, predominantly as a result of expenditure on large-scale infrastructure projects such as bridges and roads.[9]

Potential debt positions notwithstanding, five nations (Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga and American Samoa) bid for the 2015 Pacific Games. The Games were ultimately awarded to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and follow the 2011 Pacific Games held in Nouméa, New Caledonia, however the rising cost (purportedly in excess of $1 billion) and the logistical burden of putting on the games continue to threaten countries' abilities to host the event.[10]

Pacific Games Council[edit]

The games governing body is the Pacific Games Council, the Games council flag is presented to the host nation of the next games at the end of every games. With expansion and economic growth in the Pacific and Oceania countries of the Pacific Islands it was now appropriate for the South Pacific Games Council to modernise and revise its charter in light of these changes in the region and the changing place of Sport in our society, thus the council adapted a new charter in 2007.

The current President of the Council is Vidhya Lakhan from Fiji.

Member associations[edit]

Membership of the Council includes internationally recognised National Multisport Organisations within countries and territories who are members of the Pacific Community.[5] There are currently 22 members.[11] Pitcairn Island is the only Pacific Community member that is not member of the Pacific Council, whereas Norfolk Island is admitted as member of the Pacific Games Council although not a member of the Pacific Community.

15 members are also member associations of the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC).[11] Since 2015 games Australia and New Zealand participates in Pacific Games.

In July 2014, the Oceania National Olympic Committees announced their members had voted to allow Australia and New Zealand to participate in four sports, on a provisional basis, in the 2015 Pacific Games. The risk of seeing the two wealthy, developed nations dominate the competition had previously prevented their inclusion, they would be allowed to send participants only in rugby sevens, sailing, taekwondo and weightlifting - sports where other Pacific countries had proved sufficiently competitive against them in the past.[12]

 Nation
 Organisation
Website 
 American Samoa American Samoa National Olympic Committee (ASNOC)  oceaniasport.com/amsam
 Cook Islands Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) oceaniasport.com/cookis
 Federated States of Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia National Olympic Committee (FSMNOC) oceaniasport.com/fsm
 Fiji Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) fijiolympiccommittee.com
 Guam Guam National Olympic Committee (GNOC) oceaniasport.com/guam
 Kiribati Kiribati National Olympic Committee (KNOC) oceaniasport.com/kiribati
 Marshall Islands Marshall Islands National Olympic Committee (MINOC) oceaniasport.com/marshalls
 Nauru Nauru Olympic Committee oceaniasport.com/nauru
New Caledonia Le Comité Territorial Olympique et Sportif de Nouvelle-Calédonie (CTOS) www.ctos.nc
 Niue Niue Island Sports and Commonwealth Games Association (NISCGA) oceaniasport.com/niue
 Norfolk Island Norfolk Island Amateur Sports & Commonwealth Games Association sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=3852
 Northern Mariana Islands Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=3859
 Palau Palau National Olympic Committee (PNOC) oceaniasport.com/palau
 Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea Sports Federation & National Olympic Committee (PNGSFOC) oceaniasport.com/png
 Samoa Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC) oceaniasport.com/samoa
 Solomon Islands Solomon Islands National Olympic Committee (NOCSI) oceaniasport.com/solomon
 Tahiti Comité Olympique de Tahiti Nui (COPF) www.copf.pf
 Tokelau Tokelau Sports Federation sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=3861
 Tonga Tonga Sports Association and National Olympic Committee (TASANOC) oceaniasport.com/tonga
 Tuvalu Tuvalu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (TASNOC) oceaniasport.com/tuvalu
 Vanuatu Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) oceaniasport.com/vanuatu
 Wallis and Futuna Comité Territorial Olympique et Sportif des Iles Wallis et Futuna (CTOSWF) wallisetfutuna.franceolympique.com

South Pacific Games locations[edit]

Year Games Host City Host Nation Dates Athletes Nations Sports Top Medalling
Nation
1963 I Suva  Fiji 29 August – 8 September 646 13 10  Fiji
1966 II Nouméa  New Caledonia 8–18 December 1200 14 12  New Caledonia
1969 III Port Moresby Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea 13–23 August 1150 12 15  New Caledonia
1971 IV Papeete  French Polynesia 25 August – 5 September 2000 14 17  New Caledonia
1975 V Tumon  Guam 1–10 August 1205 13 16  New Caledonia
1979 VI Suva  Fiji 28 August – 8 September 2672 19 18  New Caledonia
1983 VII Apia  Western Samoa 5–16 September 2500 15 13  New Caledonia
1987 VIII Nouméa  New Caledonia 8–20 December 1650 12 18  New Caledonia
1991 IX Port Moresby  Papua New Guinea 7–21 September 2000 16 17  Papua New Guinea
1995 X Papeete French Polynesia/ French Polynesia 25 August – 5 September 2000 12 25  New Caledonia
1999 XI Santa Rita  Guam 29 May – 12 June  3000+ 21 22  New Caledonia
2003 XII Suva  Fiji 28 June – 12 July 5000 22 32  New Caledonia
2007 XIII Apia  Samoa 25 August – 8 September 5000 22 33 / New Caledonia
2011 XIV Nouméa  New Caledonia 27 August – 10 September 4300 22 27  New Caledonia
2015 XV Port Moresby  Papua New Guinea 4–18 July 3700 24 28  Papua New Guinea
2019 XVI Apia[13]  Samoa 8–20 July TBD 24 26
2023 XVII Honiara[14]  Solomon Islands 24

Sports[edit]

There are 37 sports approved by the Pacific Games Council, as at July 2014,[15] the 2019 Pacific Games shall consist of a maximum 26 sports.

Core Sports[edit]

There are a total of 14 core sports for the Pacific Games, these are sports that will feature at every edition of the games.

Sport Contested Years
Athletics All 1963–present
Basketball All 1963–present
Boxing All 1963–present
Football All 1963–present
Golf 13 times 1969–present
Judo 10 times 1969–1979, 1987, 1995–2011
Outrigger canoeing (Va'a) 6 times 1995–present
Rugby 7s 5 times 1999–present
Swimming 14 times 1963–1979, 1987–present
Table tennis All 1963–present
Taekwondo 6 times 1995–present
Tennis All 1963–present
Volleyball and

Beach volleyball §

All (indoor) and

5 times (beach)

1963–present (indoor) and

1999–present (beach)

Weightlifting 14 times 1966–present

Optional sports[edit]

There are 23 sports optional for inclusion at a games, as selected by the host nation's organising committee.

Sport Contested Years
Archery 6 times 1971–1975, 1995, 2003–2011
Badminton 3 times 2003–2011
Baseball 4 times 1999–2011
Billiards Cercle noir 100%.svg Never TBD
Bodybuilding 5 times 1995, 2003–present
Cricket 7 times 1979,1987–1991,2003–present
Cycling 5 times 1966, 1971–1975, 1987, 1995
Field hockey 4 times 1979, 2003–2007, 2015–present
Handball Never TBD
Karate 5 times 1995–2003, 2011–present
Lawn bowls 5 times 1979, 1991, 2003–2007, 2015
Netball Venus symbol.svg 11 times 1963–1969, 1979–1983, 1991–2007, 2015–present
Powerlifting 5 times 1995, 2003–present
Rugby league 9s Mars symbol.svg 2 times 2007, 2015–present
Sailing 12 times 1969–1979, 1987–present
Shooting 6 times 1987, 1995, 2003–present
Snooker Cercle noir 100%.svg Never TBD
Softball 6 times 1969–1975, 1991, 2007, 2015–present
Squash 8 times 1979–1991, 2003–present
Surfing 4 times 1995, 2003–2011
Touch rugby 3 times 2003–2007, 2015–present
Triathlon 6 times 1995–present
Wrestling 2 times 1999, 2007

Former sports[edit]

Former sports include rugby 15s (replaced by rugby 7s) and underwater fishing (last contested in 1999).

Sport Contested Years
Rugby 15s 9 times 1963–1971, 1979–1995
Underwater fishing 4 times 1971–1975, 1995–1999

Also included at the 2009 Pacific Mini Games was rugby league 7s (now replaced by rugby league 9s).

Notes:

^† Football for men must be included on the programme. The optional addition of football for women does not increase the total number of sports, for the first time in 2007, the Pacific Games formed part of the qualification for the FIFA World Cup.[16]

^‡ Touch rugby is an optional sport but men's, women's and mixed tournaments must be included if touch rugby is selected.

Volleyball and beach volleyball disciplines have been listed as one sport for the purposes of the Games programme, since some time after the bids for the XV Games (in conjunction with the maximum number of sports being reduced from 28 to 26 for the XVI Games).[17][18]

 Cercle noir 100%.svg Open competition; non-gender specific.

Venus symbol.svg Women's competition only.

Mars symbol.svg Men's competition only.

All-time medal table[edit]

Officially the final medal tally of the Games does not recognize a winner, regarding competition and fair play more highly.[7]

Australia and New Zealand were included in the all-time medal count for the first time after the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The table below includes all Games from 1963 to 2015.

Pacific Games medal count
Pos Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 New Caledonia 838 673 585 2096
2  French Polynesia 485 413 438 1336
3  Papua New Guinea 432 399 404 1235
4  Fiji 419 506 430 1355
5  Samoa (includes Western Samoa) 184 152 157 493
6  Nauru 81 51 30 162
7  Guam 62 91 122 275
8  Tonga 45 55 82 182
9  American Samoa 44 43 74 161
10  Cook Islands 25 43 56 124
11 Wallis and Futuna Wallis and Futuna 23 36 76 135
12  Solomon Islands 17 48 87 152
13  Australia 16 19 11 46
14 Federated States of Micronesia Federated States of Micronesia 16 16 11 43
15  Vanuatu (includes New Hebrides) 14 41 65 120
16  Palau 9 14 10 33
17  Norfolk Island 5 13 17 35
18  Kiribati (includes Gilbert) 5 11 20 36
19  Northern Mariana Islands 4 12 12 28
20  Tokelau 3 2 1 6
21  New Zealand 1 9 10 20
22  Tuvalu (includes Ellice) 1 1 4 6
23  Marshall Islands 0 3 11 14
24  Niue 0 2 7 9

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "History". Pacific Games Council Official Website. 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Charter 2007, p. 6.
  3. ^ Bikinis out, Shorts in at Beach Volleyball Pacific Radio News - Niue FM, 29 August 2007
  4. ^ French tests: Opposition grows, article summarising the response to French nuclear testing in the Pacific from World Information Service on Energy retrieved 19 February 2007
  5. ^ a b Charter 2007, p. 4.
  6. ^ Sidsnet.org Archived May 4, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ a b 2003 Twelfth South Pacific Games, Suva, Fiji
  8. ^ Article by CBRE regarding increase to gross domestic product and real estate values as a result of the 2004 Athens Olympics
  9. ^ "Games puts Samoa in debt". ABC Radio Australia. 2007-09-03. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  10. ^ Paligaru, Clement. "PNG risks losing right to host 2015 Pacific Games". ABC: Radio Australia. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Pacific Games Council - DIRECTORY 2013" (PDF 0.4 MB). Pacific Games Council. 2013. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Vanuatu committed to 2017 Pacific Mini Games". Cook Islands News. 11 May 2017. Archived from the original on 7 October 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 
  13. ^ "Samoa Set To Host Pacific Games In 2019". Pacific Islands Report. 1 September 2017. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017. 
  14. ^ "Solomon Islands awarded 2023 Pacific Games", Inside the Games, 11 May 2016
  15. ^ Charter 2014, p. 16–17.
  16. ^ "OFC 2010 FIFA World Cup route via Asia". Oceania Football Confederation. 7 December 2006. Archived from the original on 28 April 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2006. 
  17. ^ Charter 2010, pp. 15–16.
  18. ^ Charter 2012, pp. 15–16.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]