Local sports associations have until December to submit a letter of intent for the 27th Summer Universiade.
Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association president Michael White during the group's monthly meeting last Thursday said that NMASA members should turn in the letter and the names of the nominated athletes during the December meeting (usually first week), to give NMASA time to do the paperwork for the off-island competition.
The 27th Summer Universiade will be held in Kazan, Russia, on July 6 to 17 with 27 sports scheduled in the 12-day event. The list includes artistic gymnastics, athletics, badminton, beach volleyball, basketball, belt wrestling, boxing, canoe, chess, diving, fencing, field hockey, football, judo, rhythmic gymnastics, sailing, rugby 8, sambo, shooting, swimming, synchronized swimming, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, and wrestling.
The CNMI can send as much as four athletes to Kazan and in case more than 4 are nominated, NMASA will determine the selection criteria for the Commonwealth's representatives to next year's competition. The event is for athletes in the 17 to 28 age group and enrolled in a university/college or post secondary course.
“We are encouraging our student-athletes to take this big opportunity. Rezne Wong and Matthew Mancao had a great experience when they represented the CNMI in Shenzhen, China last year,” White said.
Wong and Mancao were the first CNMI athletes to join a FISU competition. Mancao in 2010 had also represented the Commonwealth in the FISU Forum in Vigo, Spain.
Athletes who will be selected will get free airfare and accommodations in Kazan. White added that accommodations in Kazan is nice, as athletes will be housed in residential neighborhood built in time for the competition. According to the event's website, the Universiade Village will accommodate about 12,000 athletes and after the tournament, it will be the largest and most modern student campus for Kazan (Volga Region) Federal University and Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism.
Competitions and training sessions will be held in 64 sports venues-with 30 of them constructed specifically for next year's event. The Universiade's main hub will be the Dinamo Stadium, which has sports facilities for football, rugby, volleyball, basketball, tennis, boxing, hand-to-hand combat, kickboxing, judo, aikido, track oval, fitness hall, and a gym.
The 27th Summer Universiade is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (International University Sports Federation) or FISU, which has 163 members around the world, including the CNMI. The Universiade is held every two years and drew its biggest participants in Shenzhen, China, last year with 10,622.