The South Pacific Games 2019 is hosted by Samoa from 7 – 20 July with the Opening Ceremony having been completed only a couple of days ago. In fact, I only found out today that Tonga had won the right to host the games but then gave notice a couple of years ago that they wouldn’t be able to fulfil their responsibility therefore, Samoa was voted in by the committee and had 18 months to pull it together and organise the games for what has now been hailed as one of the best-coordinated games so far.

There are 24 nations (including NZ and Australia but on a smaller scale) competing in 27 sporting events including some 5,000 competitors and team officials who’ve travelled to Samoa especially seeking medal wins. We’re looking forward to heading out there in a few days to see if we can check out a few of the events whilst we are in Samoa.

Unfortunately, we missed watching the torch-bearing runners before the games and the main opening ceremony but you are able to watch it on YouTube if missed. New Zealand has also committed to showing some of the sports on it’s Sky Sports Pop Up 3 channel which will be the first time that NZ has offered this to NZ viewers.

My beloved offered that he had competed in the 1983 games as a distance runner that was held in Samoa with only 15 member nations at that time. In that year Samoa came second in the medals tally beaten only by New Caledonia and if you view the medal tally to date, New Caledonia is already leading with 8 gold medals thus far.

But it’s not always about winning and instead also about experiencing another cultural space as many tourists, competitors and officials alike will be converging on Samoa, as my family will be soon, to experience what makes Samoa similar but also unique in the South Pacific Islands nations. Sometimes termed as the jewel of the Pacific or cradle of the Pacific.

And our countdown to Samoa begins (only 4 more sleeps!)…