SOL23: Sol2023 volunteers share their experiences of the Games

Volunteers were celebrated in an on-field parade at the Sol2023 closing ceremony. Photos: Pacific Games News Service.

Thousands of Sol2023 Pacific Games volunteers had the honour of parading in Saturday’s closing ceremony, with the crowd celebrating their efforts in the successful delivery of the Games.

The Pacific Games News Service, which is itself mostly staffed by volunteers, caught up with some fellow volunteers at the closing ceremony to hear about their experiences of the Games.

Austin Foa, basketball volunteer

“Our role was to sit and watch the floors of the courts in case they got slippery, so we had to dry it regularly to make sure the athletes didn’t slip and sustain injury.

“As a basketball fan, I really enjoyed my time during the two weeks of watching basketball matches and picking up a few skills and tricks for myself that will be helpful in the future as I aspire to represent the country one day in basketball.”

Abana Laloga, venues volunteer

“We looked after the venues and facilities, making sure they were clean and anything that was not in place, we had to put it in place before the Games started each day.

“I had the best experience working for the Games because it was our first time hosting such a big event, so I am glad and honored to be part of everything that made the Games run smoothly.”

Luisa Andy, tennis volunteer (age 21)

“Our work was mainly to control the spectators at the tennis courts.  I enjoyed working as a volunteer and making many new friends during the two weeks.”

John Mark, medal ceremonies volunteer (age 14)

“My job was to carry the medals for the medal presentations. It was so nice to do this role. We will celebrate the Games at the closing ceremony, and then we will go to the beach for a party.”

Lena Kelly, spectator services team leader

“My role was to look after the spectators as they entered the gates. We did ticketing, ripping of tickets and assisting around the Sport City areas, especially the National Stadium.

“I am telling you volunteering work is hard, we volunteers understand that we’re not getting paid for the work we do, but this is for the betterment of the country. We gave the best we could for this country, and also this experience will help us improve after the Pacific Games.”

By Timothy Inifiri Junior and Lamantha Lano, Pacific Games News Service