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Bond University boosting Solomon Islands’ bid to excel at the Pacific Games

The Solomon Island’s chances of securing a medal in either Men’s or Women’s Rugby League Nines event at the 2023 Pacific Games has received a significant boost following the announcement of a new partnership between the Solomon Islands Sport Leadership Institute (SISLI) and Bond University in Queensland.

The new partnership will see Bond Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science students analyse athletes from across all 23 sports, including Rugby League Nines, ticking off everything from injury prevention to physiological requirements.

The students will work together with the SISLI and are required to successfully demonstrate acquired evidence-based knowledge and skills.

The XVII Pacific Games will take place from November 19 to December 2 in 2023, with 24 nations descending on Honiara to compete in 23 sports. The tournament will be the third successive Pacific Games that the Solomon Islands has competed in the Rugby League Nines medal events.

“Solomon Islands athletes are often training without the standard sports science support and equipment that Australian athletes take for granted,” said Associate Professor of Exercise and Sports Science, Dr Justin Keogh.

“This is a first for our students to work with international athletes training for a multinational, multi-event Games and it is something that most students in Australia will never experience.”

Bond University students will work closely with SISLI to prescribe fitness and training modules and maximize athletic performance.

“This program is great because it is helping the community development, but also our student’s development,” Dr Keogh said.

“Moving forward, hopefully the students can build up and the start a program that we can continue to build on.

“It’s almost like going back to the early days of the Australian Institute of Sport.”

The Solomon Islands will again enter a Men’s and Women’s team into the Rugby League Nines events with Vanuatu looking to join them. Pacifique Treize will look to support both teams as well look to support New Caledonia, Wallis & Futuna and French Polynesia competing in future events.

The Bond University and Solomon Islands Sport Leadership Institute (SISLI) partnership is an initiative of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan.