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Hook in4 Health program staff geared up to deliver their program across Solomon Islands

Australia's Team Up Underway in Solomon Islands

Following the launch of the Australian Government’s Team Up program in Solomon Islands in November last year, staff members from six sport for development programs in the country actively participated in a capacity building workshop last week, geared towards preparing them for program delivery. For some of these sports, this will be the first time to implement a sport for development initiative.

With funding and technical support from Australia’s Team Up, these six programs will run activities across communities and schools with the aim of using sport to bring people together, champion inclusion and create opportunities. They range from initiatives that attract women and girls to participate in traditionally male-dominated sports, seek to address gender-based violence, and enable people with disabilities to participate.

High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, His Excellency Rod Hilton said, “We are delighted to champion sport in Solomon Islands. The six sport for development programs that we are supporting aren’t just about the game – they’re about transforming lives and opening doors to opportunities for people in Solomon Islands, regardless of gender or ability”.

Team Up builds on more than two decades of Australian sport for development programs, activities, and partnerships in the Pacific. Team Up supports programs in Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, and the latest addition, Solomon Islands.

In Solomon Islands, Australia’s Team Up is supporting six programs:

  • Just Play (Oceania Football Confederation partnering with Solomon Islands Football Federation and Football Australia): helping children to grow, learn and explore through football with a ball, a coach, and a safe place to play.
  • Women Make Waves Effect (SurfAid partnering with Western Solomons Surfing Association and Surfing NSW): using the power of surfing to foster gender equality in Western Solomons, creating a safe and empowering environment for women and girls to participate, with positive ripple effects on society.
  • Smash Down Barriers (ITTF Oceania partnering with Honiara Table Tennis Association): using table tennis as a tool to improve the lives of people with disabilities by increasing participation opportunities and improving the attitudes both by and towards people with disabilities.
  • Hook in4 Health (Oceania Hockey Federation partnering with Solomon Islands Hockey Federation, Aspire Cairns Hockey, Family Planning NSW, Hockey Australia): using hockey to promote gender equity, rights and inclusion as well as support communities to live well, learn well and lead well.
  • Basketball for Good (FIBA Oceania partnering with Solomon Islands Basketball Federation): using the power of basketball to initiate positive change in society.
  • Included through Sport (Sport Inclusion Australia partnering with Oceania Athletics and Athletics Solomon Islands) leveraging athletics to create avenues and possibilities for Solomon Islanders living with disabilities to actively participate in their community with respect, security, and inclusivity.

All programs under Team Up contribute to one or more of the program’s five focus areas:

  • gender (ensuring women and girls enjoy all the benefits of sports)
  • disability (championing a collaborative approach to disability-inclusive sport)
  • leadership (promoting diverse and proactive sports leadership)
  • governance (supporting and strengthening good governance in sports)
  • knowledge (sharing knowledge of best practices in sport for development)

Team Leader for Team Up, and former PNG football captain Andrew Lepani, who was in Solomon Islands to co-deliver the workshop, said: “It’s wonderful to see Team Up programs in Solomon Islands underway especially following on from the spirit of the Pacific Games of bringing people together. This week has been focused on building the capacity of staff within these programs to effectively monitor, capture, and showcase the stories of impact that their work will produce”.

Hook in4 Health development officer and national hockey player, Esmie Belo, who participated in the week-long workshop shared, “Learning about different ways to capture the impacts of our program and how to share inspiring stories from our participants and coaches has been a truly enlightening experience. I’m excited about using what I have learnt to showcase how the sport of hockey, which I love, can impact lives, both on and off the pitch”.

Team Up programs are delivered in partnership with sporting and non-sporting organisations, with technical support from Team Up staff in Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

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