The 2022 Pacific Mini Games Organizing Committee has been formed, marking a significant development to the CNMI’s preparations for the hosting of the regional competition.
Marco Peter, who represented Gov. Ralph DLG Torres in the Pacific Games Council meeting in Samoa last year to reaffirm the Commonwealth’s commitment to the Mini Games, will chair the committee.
The lawmaker will be joined on the body by Saipan Mayor David Apatang, Department of Public Works Secretary James Ada, and Department of Lands and Natural Resources Secretary Tony Benavente (logistics); Depart of Public Safety Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero (security); Ramon Tebuteb (sports); Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada and Hotel Association of the NMI chair Gloria Cavanagh (games village and support services/accommodations); incoming Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Joseph Deleon Guerrero (medals and ceremonies); Department of Finance Secretary David Atalig, Northern Marianas Sports Association treasurer John Hirsh, and Ben Babauta (finance); Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Commissioner Dennis Mendiola and Public Health Preparedness Program director Warren Villagomez (medical); Office of the Governor-CNMI Public Assistance Office’s Patrick Guerrero (food); and Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Priscilla Iakopo (media and public relations).
The governor has yet to appoint a chair for the protocols sub-committee, while the transportation sub-committee will be coordinated with Ada, too, as PSS buses will be used to transport the Mini Games participants to and from the venues.
Meanwhile, Torres’ senior policy adviser Robert Hunter is also on the organizing committee along with Pacific Games Council chief executive officer Andrew Minogue. The organizing group’s head and committee members were introduced during a meeting at the Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan last Friday. Torres and NMSA officials led by president Jerry Tan were also present at the meeting, while Minogue observed the proceedings virtually and answered questions about the 2022 Mini Games.
The PGC official said forming the organizing committee proved that the CNMI has taken a big step forward as far as the Commonwealth’s preparations for the hosting of the rescheduled competition are concerned. The regional competition, which was originally set for next year, will now be held from June 17 to 25 in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It sends a strong signal to the participating countries that the CNMI is fully committed to successfully hosting the Mini Games,” Minogue said.
Torres, in addressing the committee members appointed, said that more work will be done in the next two years and the CNMI will need all the help it could get both from the public and private sectors to deliver the Mini Games.
Peter echoed the governor’s comments and added that the organizing committee is ready to move forward to make things happen for athletes in the Pacific and capitalize on the opportunities the Mini Games hosting will bring to the CNMI.