However, according to PGC Executive Director Andrew Minogue there’s still some work and convincing to do before it fully becomes a recognised games for the region like all other continents.
“We have Australia and New Zealand here and some of the sport are really using the Games now to qualify for the Olympics or World Championships and we have to deliver to a certain standard,” said Minogue.
“For the Games Council we will look at what we all do, and say, is there a way that we might need another person or two in some areas to help make sure that we do deliver everything to the standard that’s now being expected.”
He says the desire has to come from the athletes of the Pacific to want to come to the Pacific Games because its important to them and use the competition to make themselves better.
The PGC realises that there a few hurdles to overcome.
“We have to be a little bit realistic about it on a number of fronts. First of all, what’s happening here in 2015 was decided by our General Assembly last year as a trial.
“And we really can’t go beyond treating it as a trail until the results are in from these Games and I mean I can say I think quiet confidentially on behalf of the Executive Board that we’re very happy with what’s happened so far in the Games with the Australian and New Zealand teams here in the weightlifting, rugby 7s, sailing and taekwondo.
“I think its off to a good start, but this is something that we now have to consider, we have to consult all our members and we also have to be mindful that we have Tonga and Vanuatu under contract to host the Pacific Games.
“We have to be sensitive to their ability to host additional athletes and additional technical officials and so forth so I think the future is positive on this score but full integration and full membership of the Games Council is a thing quite off in the distance.
“I think the Australians and New Zealanders are happy to be here, I’d expect they would be happy to receive invitation to the next games. But beyond that there’s a lot of thinking that we need to do in the region.”
He said the Pacific Games Council wants to do that with the Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) and the Oceania Sports Federation Organisation (OSFO)- and reach some long term strategic plan around how to use the games for all the member countries.
“We really do want the Games to be recognised as the Continental Games. All the other regions of the world have one now, we had the European Games in Baku, Europe has ticked the box and we are starting to tick our box now.
“We work with all of our partners to get to that point at the appropriate time,” Minogue said.
The inclusion of Australia and New Zealand in future Games is likely to come up in the PGC’s Annual General Meeting at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby today.....PACNEWS