More benefits from 2021 Mini Games hosting


Pacific Games Council president Vidya Lakhan talks about the benefits of hosting the 2021 Pacific Mini Games on Saipan in his speech during the Northern Marianas Sports Association Annual Banquet last Wednesday night at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Hibiscus Hall. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The CNMI will benefit from hosting the 2021 Pacific Mini Games even after the quadrennial competition has finished.

Pacific Games Council president Vidya Lakhan, who was among the guests at the Northern Marianas Sports Association Awards Banquet last week, said the Commonwealth will have tools to host even bigger events after holding the Mini Games on Saipan.

“Hosting the Mini Games will give your people the skills to organize events. The Mini Games will provide opportunities for human resources development, as they will be trained to handle the competition. There will also facilities, which will undergo improvement and will be use in future competitions and other community events,” Lakhan said.

“The Mini Games will leave a legacy on Saipan,” he added.

With this in mind, the Pacific Games Council called on the private sector, various government agencies, athletes and officials, and all the members of the community to rally behind the CNMI’s hosting of the Mini Games next year. The regional competition will come to Saipan for the first time and is expected to draw more than 2,000 athletes, officials, and guests.

“This is an event that you can be proud of and support from everyone is needed so that the CNMI can host one of the best Games in our region,” Lakhan said.

The PCG head along with its chief executive officer Andrew Minogue were on Saipan last week not only to attend the NMSA event, but also meet with different local sports federations and discuss developments in their preparations for the hosting of the Mini Games.

Initially, six sports are scheduled to be contested in next year’s competition: athletics, badminton, beach volleyball, triathlon, golf, and baseball. The number was originally 12, but was trimmed down due to budgetary constrains and facilities issues, with the allotment for the Mini Games also cut to $3 million from $8 million. However, there are indications that a couple more sports may be added to the Games with NMSA and the government working on securing grants to improve competition venues.

The final calendar of events for the 2021 Pacific Mini will be decided early next year, while PGC officials will have more visits to Saipan this year to get updates about the hosts’ preparation for the event.

From left, Northern Marianas Sports Association president Jerry Tan, board member John Hirsh, vice president Ramon Tebuteb, secretary Valerie Hofschneider, and board member Nick Gross are introduced at the NMSA Annual Banquet last Wednesday night at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Hibiscus Hall. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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