Australia supports Pacific athletes for Paris 2024

The Australian Government, via PacificAus Sports, revealed a collaboration with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to aid over 230 athletes, including both able-bodied and para-athletes, from 13 Pacific countries in their readiness for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

This initiative extends the financial support that the Australian Government granted Pacific athletes via PacificAus Sports before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. PacificAus Sports, an initiative of the Australian Government focused on sports diplomacy, is dedicated to creating opportunities for Pacific teams and athletes to participate in top-tier competitions and gain access to elite coaching both in Australia and abroad.

Paris-bound Paralympian Elie Enock from Vanuatu stated: "Sport helps me to stand up for myself and to feel confident. In Vanuatu, I started seated shotput by sitting on an upside-down bucket because we did not have the seated frame to do my training."

Samoa's Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali has earned his first spot in the Olympic Games. "I am grateful for PacificAus Sports helping me throughout the years, especially on my way to the next Olympics," he said. Rellie Kaputin from Papua New Guinea feels that "Pacific Aus Sports really helped me towards my preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games." For Kiribati boxer Teretia Toauriri, representing her country means inspiring a new generation of female athletes. "In Kiribati, there are no female boxers, that is why I want to make the females in my country box too and [show them] we can represent our country."

The funding will ensure nearly equal representation of athletes, with 127 (55%) being male and 106 (45%) female.