National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI) General Secretary, Phillip Ohoto'ona, states that Justification and Monitoring Committee mechanism must be protected and enhanced.Ohoto'ona stated that this is in fact the first time a Justification Committee has been established to oversee athletes for a Pacific Games.
"Selecting individuals or teams for any Pacific Games is tough and can be a head ache. The new system ensures that we set standards for those going to the games, although we have been quite flexible in our approach to the intending contingent for Samoa," said Ohoto'ona. "If we were to stick to the standard criteria for each federation, I believe most sports or athletes would end up skipping this year's SPG in Samoa."
The General Secretary said that there are some federations, teams and athletes who complain about the new process. "All I can say is that we have to set a bench mark so that future federations, athletes and teams are well aware of the process before the next SPG," Ohoto'ona said. "Athletes will become quickly accustomed should NOCSI choose to employ the same rules again in the future."
In the past 5 months, NOCSI instigated a Justification and Monitoring Committee. Bib tests were put into practice registering records of athletes and teams every fortnight. Most of the athletes have reached the expected standard to qualify.
The final SPG contingent will be announced this week. As the NOCSI executive highlighted early this year, "There will be no tourists on this trip", and this new approach is testament of NOCSI's renewed determination.