In a spirited display of national pride and enthusiasm, Team Vanuatu paraded from Fatumaru Bay to the SeaFront last Saturday marking the beginning of their journey to the 17th edition of the South Pacific Games (SPG) in the Solomon Islands.

Chef De Mission Diplomatic (CDM), Mike Masauvakalo, President of the Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Assembly of Olympic Committee (VASANOC) Antoine Boudier and Secretary General Cyrille Mainguy, Director of Youth and Sports, Henry Tavoa delivered speeches setting the tone for the upcoming regional competition.

Boudier revealed that the team comprises 165 athletes, 47 officials, 12 administrators, and a delegation from the Vanuatu Government, totaling an impressive 232 individuals.

Highlighting the diversity of Vanuatu’s representation, Boudier stated that the nation would participate in 16 sports disciplines, including archery, athletics, boxing, football, golf, hockey, judo, netball, rugby league (making its debut), rugby sevens, swimming, table tennis, tennis, beach volleyball, and weightlifting.

Addressing the athletes directly, President Boudier emphasized the significance of the youth-led team, expressing pride in the fact that the majority of the contingent represents the new generation. “You are the inspiring generation, the ones that will be raising the colors of our country for the next few years,” he remarked.

The newly appointed flag bearer for this Pacific game is Anolyn Lulu, representing Table Tennis and replacing Thomas Wilbur from Weightlifting, who served as the Team Vanuatu flag bearer in 2022. Anolyn Lulu, with extensive experience in the Pacific Games since 1999, is a formidable athlete. She led the team to victory in table tennis during the last Pacific Games and is affectionately known as the “Golden Girl” in the Vanuatu team.

Acknowledging the monumental occasion for many team members, Boudier reassured them that they had been selected because they were the best in their respective sports, urging them to compete with passion and pride. “Your performance will not only be a representation of Vanuatu but a personal reflection of your dedication and heart,” he added.

As the athletes embark on this exciting journey, Vanuatu eagerly anticipates the accomplishments and moments of pride that Team Vanuatu will bring back home from the SPG. The nation stands united in support, looking forward to the young team’s remarkable performances on the regional stage.