The Games Organizing Committee of the XVI Pacific Games in Samoa has made changes in the accommodation arrangement for delegates, designating Methodist Church in Faleula as the Athletes Village.
According to the XVI Pacific Games press statement, the Athletes Village will house competitors and team officials, while the more than 1,000 technical officials, other delegates, and weightlifting and boxing athletes will stay in hotels.
Initially, local organizers announced that all athletes and officials will be accommodated in hotels after the Pacific Games Office and Accommodation Providers and the Samoa Tourism Authority signed a memorandum of agreement last month. However, more than 4,000 delegates are expected to be in Samoa to attend the Games that will run from July 7 to 20, 2109 and hotels may not be able to accommodate all of them. To date, 34 hotels have committed 1,300 beds for the Pacific Games.
Samoa organizers believed that having an Athletes Village is also cost-effective for delegates.
“We recognize that our goal to host all athletes and officials in hotels was an ambitious one. But we continue to look for ways to be cost effective and meet our timeframes. We are tracking the schedule. The government stands firm in our aim to partner together with the private sector. Procurement for the Games has been busy over the past few months and will continue into the new year,” Minister of Education, Sports and Culture Loau Keneti Sio said in a statement posted in the Games’ official website.
“The Games Organizing Committee acknowledges the support of the Methodist Church of Samoa Board in making special allowances to help accommodate for athletes and team officials. When the request was sent, the board did not hesitate to answer the call and we are thankful for the spirit they have come in. Hosting athletes and team officials within the Faleula compound not only helps alleviate our transport and security services, it will make these Games extra special. The Pacific Games is not only about sports, but also about building bonds between our Pacific nations. Being based within a Samoan village environment will provide insight and appreciation into our Samoan way of doing things. We’re really excited about the partnership,” he added.
The CNMI will be participating in next year’s Games, but the number of delegates has not been confirmed, as Northern Marianas Sports Association were not able to discuss matters related to the competition in the last two months (November and December meetings were canceled due to Super Typhoon Yutu). Initially, baseball, canoe, athletics, tennis, sailing, swimming, rugby 7’s, and 3×3 basketball have expressed their interest to send athletes in Samoa.