A new 30-minute television sports show celebrating the achievements of Pacific Island athletes across the world launched on ABC Australia and ABC iview on Wednesday 25 November, with another episode going to air tonight.
Produced by Beyond Action for the ABC, That Pacific Sports Show, is a 30-minute sports panel and magazine program hosted by NSW State of Origin and Olympic 7’s rugby union player, Tiana Penitani, who is of Tongan heritage. Tiana is joined by Dene Halatau, former NZ International and NRL legend. The show will examine the big sporting issues of the week and talk to the sporting world’s most iconic Pacific personalities.
Regular guests will include Tongan-Australian former Wallaby Tatafu Polota-Nau, Fijian-Australian Olympic gold medallist Ellia Green and comedy duo Roq and Cav, who host Radio Australia’s Pacific sports radio show Can You Be More Pacific.
Pacific Island athletes are rightly known around the world for their skill, speed and physicality. In Australia Pacific Island athletes famously dominate rugby league and rugby union competitions. That Pacific Sports Show will share the stories, meet the athletes and explore the issues affecting the region through the lens of sport.
Manager of ABC Sport, Nick Morris said ABC Sport was excited to be launching a new program with a unique Pacific perspective on the sports. “Our neighbours across the Pacific are a huge part of Australian sporting identity, and the opportunity to share their successes and personalities on our TV screens each week is very exciting,” he said.
Acting Head of ABC International Strategy, Claire Gorman said: “ABC Australia reaches TV audiences across the Asia Pacific region and we are delighted to offer a show that talks directly to our neighbours across the Pacific in our shared language of sport. We hope That Pacific Sports Show contributes to the ongoing conversations between Australia and our neighbours and fosters mutual understanding about the people and cultures of our shared Pacific region.”
Executive Producer for Beyond Action, Frank Chidiac said: “We are very excited about the opportunity to work with the ABC to showcase the wonderful Pacific Island sporting talent across the region. The connection with their culture and what it represents will resonate with sporting fans both in Australia and across the Pacific”
That Pacific Sports Show is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through PacificAus Sports. PacificAus Sports is part of the Australian Government’s Pacific Step-up and Sports Diplomacy 2030 strategy, and aims to build sustainable, elite sport pathways between Australia and the Pacific.
That Pacific Sports Show premiered on ABC Australia and iView on Wednesday 25 November at 6 pm PNG time, 7 pm in Solomon Islands, 8 pm in Fiji and 9 pm in Samoa. The second episode will air on tonight and then return in 2021 for a full season.