The auction of the Olympic torch from the Sydney 2000 Games has raised over 12,000 US dollars towards the Vanuatu athletes competing in the Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila in December.
Up to 225 people attended the Carbine Club luncheon and auction earlier this month at the Warwick Le Lagon Hotel in Port Vila.
President of the Carbine Club, which helped to run the auction, Shaun Gilchrist, said there were up to six active bidders, and a couple of silent bidders from Van2017 for the torch, which is signed by Olympic gold medallists Cathy Freeman of Australia and Barbra Kendall of New Zealand.
“There was a lot of interest in the torch; the bidding went exceptionally well, and the final figure was 1.3 million vatu ($US12,122), which is an exceptionally good result,” said Glichrist.
“From a Carbine Club perspective, we were very happy for Team Vanuatu as well. There were up to six active bidders, and a couple of silent bidders from Van2017, and the final winner was Andrew Hobbs who is the owner of FM 107and also a gold sponsor of Van2017.
“It added something new to the Carbine Club auction as historically, we’ve auctioned off signed shirts, ties, framed posters around specific sporting events, so this is very new for the Club.”
The CEO of the Vanuatu Olympic Committee, and Chef de Mission for Team Vanuatu, Henry Tavoa, said the funds will be spent on costs that are not covered by VASANOC, the Vanuatu Government and Van2017.