The opening ceremony was attended senior government Ministers, including Minister of Youth Development and Sport, Minister of Health, and Minister of Justice and Community Services, as well as members of Parliament, Madame Deputy Mayor, representatives of the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs and the Vanuatu Christian Council and the sporting community.
The project was funded by the Australian Government and implemented by the Vanuatu Government under the Tropical Cyclone Pam Recovery Programme.
It includes the construction of a new sports hall, the renovation of the existing gym and office blocks, and the extension of the toilet and shower facilities.
The newly-constructed cyclone resilient building is also accessible for people living with disability.
‘The connections Australia and Vanuatu have built through the recovery program, as well as through sport, are invaluable in bringing our countries closer together’, said Sarah deZoeten, Australian High Commissioner
The facilities will be a key piece of sports infrastructure for people in Vanuatu to play and develop their sporting activities.
It recognises Vanuatu and Australia shared passion for sport and this is reflected by the value both countries place on the role of sport in schools, communities and economies.
The building will also serve as an evacuation centre for communities in times of disasters. Australia was a first responder to Tropical Cyclone Pam and is now responding to Tropical Cyclone Harold and to COVID-19, at the request of the Vanuatu Government.
All the construction and renovation work, including the sports complex, were built by local contractors, engineers and technical experts, under the supervision of the Departments of Public Works, Education and Training, and Health.
Photo supplied Caption: Prime Minister, Bob Loughman Weibor, opens the National Fitness and Evacuation Centre.