The Australian Government has announced that three sports federations and organisations in the Solomon Islands have been successful in their application for funds through the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP).

Announcing the successful applicants was Warwick Povey of the Australian Sports Commission who said that "Solomon Islands is a strong sporting nation and had many excellent applications. The Australian Sports Commission has supported sport in Solomon Islands for several years and is pleased to be able to continue this through the Australian Sports Outreach Program which will continue for many more years to come."

The successful applicants are: The Office of the West Makira constituency for their sports development program for soccer and netball programs, which will culminate in the West Makira Games Project 2008; Solomon Islands Athletics Association for their Kids and Youth Athletics program which will be run in four communities from Guadalcanal Province (Muvia), Malaita Province (Auki), Makira Province (Kirakira) and Isabel Province (Buala); To'abaita Authority for Research and Development (TARD) student volunteers for the North Malaita School and Community Sports Development Initiative to increase physical activity in primary and secondary schools, with rural youth and school leavers trained to run a sports league in North Malaita.

On hearing that TARD was successful in its application, the Project Coordinator, Exsley Taloiburi, said that Australia's assistance means a lot to all of the TARD volunteer members as well as the rural school children and youths in North Malaita that stand to benefit greatly from this initiative. "We would like to thank the Australian High Commission in Honiara and the Australian Government for the generous support."

These sentiments were echoed by the Constituency Development Officer at the Office of West Makira Constituency, Marita who said that "The sports projects will allow people, especially youths, to be occupied naturally and socially in sports. More than 10,000 people in West Makira will directly benefit from this project."

The Australian High Commission congratulates the successful project applicants and acknowledges the hard work of all applicants for the 2008-2009 ASOP programs. A very large number of applications of a very high standard were received.

There will be another opportunity for sporting federations to apply for further funding next year. Sporting bodies that were unsuccessful in their applications will be contacted shortly by the Australian High Commission and are encouraged to seek feedback on their application.