The Northern Mariana Islands Football Association is capitalizing on its downtime by working on improving projects at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
After the completion of the reconstruction work of its secondary pitch through the funding assistance from the Asian Football Confederation, NMIFA is now doing improvements on the pathway between the NMISTC’s two fields.
“It is not part of the mini pitch project, but NMIFA is also trying to make some improvements on the pathway or road between the main pitch and the mini pitch. Concrete sidewalks are being built, and hopefully, the road can also be paved with asphalt so access and viewing of activities on the mini pitch will be better,” NMIFA general secretary Ross Zapanta said.
NMIFA managed to continue its improvement projects at the NMISTC, as football-related activities in the facilities are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since restrictions were implemented in the CNMI in March last year as safety measures against the pandemic, NMIFA has yet to hold a competition and only allows training sessions of national team members and other special programs.
Meanwhile, NMIFA will continue to seek improvement of its facilities and provide programs to CNMI players, particularly those who aspire to move up to high-level leagues.
“NMI players are very fortunate to have these two beautiful soccer pitches with artificial turf. They can now play whole year round in a very nice and safe venue. This will be a big help for those aiming to get soccer scholarships in college because being able to play and train regularly will surely help them improve physically and technically,” Zapanta said.
“In addition, NMIFA has always been looking at ways to continuously support our players, by participating in international tournaments, organizing off-island training camps, providing training equipment and uniforms, and others. In return, NMIFA only ask our players to be responsible members of the community and to set good examples to the younger players. And with all the challenges and difficulties we are facing right now, we hope that our players will be generous with their time in doing volunteer work for our community.”