The CNMI Team competing in the 2014 Micronesian Games in Pohnpei next month will receive $30,000 in financial assistance from the government.
The good news came after Gov. Eloy Inos signed House Local Bill No. 18-37, D4 into law (Saipan Local Law No.18-16) last Friday. The law re-appropriates $33,000 in lapsed funds from five local laws with the remaining $3,000 allocated for the 2014 Spear Fishing Derby.
“We would like to thank the Saipan and Northern Island Legislative Delegation for helping the CNMI Team that will participate in this year’s Micronesian Games in Pohnpei,” Northern Marianas Sports Association president Michael White said during the group’s monthly meeting last Thursday evening at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The delegation passed House Local Bill No. 18-37, D4 last Thursday afternoon and with the governor signing the measure into law the following day, between 100 and 105 CNMI athletes and officials are expected to receive monetary aid this month in time for the Micro Games, which will run from July 20 to 30.
The assistance is very much welcome, as the CNMI delegates, especially those competing in team events, are struggling for funds despite holding numerous fundraising events. Just late last month, NMSA called for an emergency meeting to know the status of the travel arrangements made by each team.
At the meeting, NMASA was informed that baseball and basketball have yet to settle their dues with United Airlines, but with CNMI Team out to receive $30,000 from the government coffers, White said the problem may be solved.
The NMSA president said each CNMI delegate will get $300 from the financial aid. Those who have settled their dues with United Airlines will get refunds, while NMSA will use baseball and basketball’s shares to pay for the outstanding balance of their airfare. Saipan Tribune learned that United Airlines is charging $678 per person plus taxes ($7.50 and $86.50, which are subject to change) for the airfare to Pohnpei.
Besides basketball (men and women) and baseball, athletics swimming, spearfishing, weightlifting, and canoe are also sending athletes and officials to the Micro Games.
Meanwhile, with the financial assistance from the government covering only portion of the CNMI Team’s airfare, each federation will have to shoulder the per diem ($30) for food and accommodation in Pohnpei. Each delegate will also have to pay the travel tax. However, a NMASA member disclosed during last Thursday’s meeting that one lawmaker is working on giving additional $4,000 to the CNMI Team to cover the travel tax.
The Saipan Baseball League will be hosting a men’s and women’s fundraising softball tournament from June 20 to 22 at the Capital Hill Ballfield.
Proceeds from this tournament will be used to offset the cost of the CNMI Baseball Team’s participation to the 2014 Micronesian Games in Pohnpei next month.
Entry fee is $120 and for an additional $10, a player can join the Home Run Derby. A double-elimination format will be in effect during the tournament and interested teams are requested to send a representative at the June 17 meeting at 6pm at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
For more information, contact league coordinator Tony Rogolifoi at 234-6672.