Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association is trying again to bring the Pacific Mini Games to the CNMI, as it submitted its letter of intent to host the competition in 2021.
NMASA, which had earlier made a bid for the 2017 Mini Games in 2011 but lost to Vanuatu, turned over its letter of intent to Pacific Games Council president Vidhya Lakhan on Sept. 8 during a meeting in Wallis & Futuna.
“Pursuant to the provisions of Protocol 1.3 of the Games Managemebt Protocols as set forth in the Pacific Games Charter, the Northern Marians Amateur Sports Association, on behalf of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, hereby advises that it intends to submit a bid to host the 2021 Pacific Mini Games,” NMASA president Michael White stated in the letter.
The letter also mentioned that the CNMI is proposing 14 sports: athletics, football, golf, swimming, tennis, canoe, beach volleyball, baseball, weightlifting, sailing, triathlon, wrestling, indoor volleyball, and badminton.
As for the facilities, White assured the Council that the CNMI have them in place and ready for use, while NMASA will soon coordinate with other stakeholders to ensure that transportation, accommodation, safety, and security off all delegates will be taken care off.
White also official announced the CNMI’s bid during the NMASA meeting last Thursday at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. He said a committee will be formed next year to pursue the CNMI’s hosting bid.
The NMASA head added that besides the creation of the bid committee, clarifications on immigration issues will also be prioritized to help the CNMI succeed in its bid. Several athletes competing in the Games are non-U.S. passport holders or do not have US visa and to enter the CNMI, they must have either one. NMASA will be looking into details on how to secure a visa exemption for athletes and officials joining a sports competition.
In its failed bid in 2011, immigration issues were believed to be one of the factors that affected the CNMI’s attempt to host the Mini Games. As for the facilities, the CNMI received a good grade when Lakhan and Council executive director Andrew Minogue visited the Oleai Sports Complex, Marianas High School, and other venues on Saipan late in June.
About two months after the site visit, the hosting rights were put into a vote and the CNMI and Vanuatu went into a deadlock in the first round, getting eight votes apiece. Then in the deciding second round, Vanuatu got 13 against only 9 from the CNMI.