Northern Marianas Sports Association president Michael White officially confirmed the CNMI’s hosting of the 2021 Pacific Mini Games.
“The 2021 Pacific Mini Games has been awarded to the Northern Mariana Islands during the Pacific Games Council’s general assembly in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea last weekend,” White said.
“We would like to thank Gov. Eloy Inos for showing strong support to the CNMI’s bid in bringing the Pacific Mini Games here. We would also like to thank Lt. Gov. Jude Hofschneider for appearing with us in Port Moresby and joining our presentation,” he added.
White announced the good news yesterday during his return to Saipan. He was greeted at the arrival area of the Saipan International Airport by fellow NMSA officials Rose Igitol, Tony Rogolifoi, Emelinda Cabrera, Kurt Barnes, and Jordan Kosam.
“Finally, the Pacific Mini Games is coming to the CNMI. Let’s be excited and stay excited until the Games are here,” Igitol, the secretary general of NMSA, said.
With the Council officially naming the Commonwealth as the host of the 2021 Pacific Mini Games, White said it’s time to buckle down to work.
“The hard work starts now,” said White, who stated in a previous NMSA meeting that a local organizing committee must be formed early to move forward with the CNMI’s preparation for the hosting of the quadrennial meet.
People from the business and government sectors are expected to be included in the committee and work with NMSA officials.
Another concern for the host island are the facilities, which received a good grade from the Council when PGC president Vidhya Lakhan and executive director Andrew Minogue visited Saipan last May this year, but need improvement and maintenance.
The Oleai Sports Complex, which is now under the sole management of NMSA and housed baseball and softball fields, the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium, and the track and field facility, is still the main headquarters for the Games. Other facilities being considered to host various competitions include the Marianas High School Gymnasium, TSL Sports Complex, and the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool. As for the delegates’ accommodations, the CNMI is eyeing MHS and Hopwood Junior High School to house athletes and officials, while Kanoa Resort is proposed for VIPs.
For funding, NMSA in its bid documents indicated it will seek local funds and federal grants for the improvement of existing facilities and the operational cost. NMSA estimated the cost of hosting the Pacific Mini Games at $1,160,00. Of the over $1-million budget for the Games, $650,000 will come from participation fees from the 22 nations, $250,000 from the government, and the remaining $260,000 from the private sector through sponsorships.
The CNMI is offering 12 sports for the 2021 Pacific Mini Games. The list includes athletics, badminton, golf, tennis, canoe racing, volleyball (indoor and beach), baseball, sailing, swimming, triathlon, weightlifting, and wrestling.