Papua New Guinea's long jumper Rellie Kaputin is preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. ONOC

The Australian Government, through PacificAus Sports, will work with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) to support more than 250 athletes from 13 Pacific nations to prepare for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The supported athletes will compete in 15 sports, including athletics, swimming, boxing, weightlifting and rugby 7s. Australia's commitment to promoting greater inclusion of women and girls in sport at the highest level remains in place, with almost equal representation of both male and female athletes included in this support. 

"The International Olympic Committee is delighted to learn of the Australian Government's continued support for the Pacific Island nations," said James MacLeod, Director of NOC Relations, Olympic Solidarity and Olympism365. "This will assist these smaller nations to qualify, compete and perform at the Paris Games and is a true model of continental solidarity," he added.

One of those benefiting from the initiative is long jumper Rellie Kaputin from Papua New Guinea. Rellie was also a recipient of Australian Government support in the lead up to the delayed 2020 Olympics, held in Tokyo in 2021.

"The funding from Australia made a huge difference to me in my ability to prepare for Paris 2024 and my competition at the time of the Games. I'm very grateful to have this level of support again as I prepare to represent not only Papua New Guinea but also my region at the Olympic Games," she said. 

Samoa's Vaipava Nevo Ioane in the men's 67kg final at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. GETTY IMAGES
Samoa's Vaipava Nevo Ioane in the men's 67kg final at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. GETTY IMAGES

"Sport unites nations and is vital in building community spirit. This funding will create lasting memories for the athletes and their passionate supporters across the Pacific. I can't wait to see the Pacific's talent on the world stage in Paris," commented the Minister for Sport, Anika Wells.

The COA has been working closely with colleagues at the Oceania National Olympic Committee (CONO) to help Pacific athletes to prepare for this year's competition, according to CEO Matt Carroll. A sentiment shared by CONO President Robin Mitchell. "We are delighted to be working again with the Australian Government to support our athletes in their final preparations for the Games," he said.

"Australia and the Pacific share a deep and enduring love of sport," said the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy." The Australian Government is proud to partner with the Australian Olympic Committee to support so many talented athletes from across the Pacific to realise their Olympic and Paralympic dreams, and to further bolster our strong ties with the Pacific region."