On Monday, November 13, at 11:50 a.m. local time, the first group of Team PNG athletes and officials touched down at Henderson International Airport in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Leading the team was Chef de Mission Faye-Zina Lalo, who was greeted with warmth by His Excellency Moses Kaul, the Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands.
When they arrived, Lalo and Ramona Padio, one of the flag bearers, were the first to be welcomed by the High Commissioner.
119 athletes and officials took the two-hour flight over.
Lalo said PNG as the bigger nation in the Pacific is pleased to be part of the Games this year and help to make it a success through its participation.
“Like the other nations at the Games this year, we will be doing our very best and we hope to finish high on the medal tally.”
The women’s football team captain, Padio, will be going for their sixth straight title and defending her gold medal from the last Pacific Games in Samoa.
She affirmed her faith in her team and promised to put in a lot of effort to see their objective through.
Senior members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, who are currently conducting operations in Honiara, were also present at the welcome party.
Alongside them was Ase Boas, 2015 Pacific Games rugby league 9s gold medallist and former PNG Kumul five-eight player.
Before the competitions start, the teams will use this week to settle in and complete their last training and preparations.
The National Stadium on Honiara will host the opening ceremony for the games on November 19.