NMA to oversee operations of soon to open track


Northern Marianas Sports Association has put up a temporary sign informing the public that the track is still closed, as NMSA is still doing some final repairs at the facility before it opens within the week. (Jon Perez)

The Northern Marianas Sports Association and the Northern Marianas Athletics will be signing a memorandum of understanding that would name the latter as the official custodian of the track and field facility at the Oleai Sports Complex.

NMSA and NMA will sign the MOU as soon as both parties finalized the details of the agreement.

NMSA executive director Tony Rogolifoi said NMA would only act as the caretaker of the facility once it opens. NMSA through NMA would impose minimal fees to all the users of the facility, particularly to joggers, runners, and walkers.

Rogolifoi also told Saipan Tribune that NMA will be named as custodian of the facility, as NMSA doesn’t have enough manpower to monitor the people who would use the track and this could pose problems in the collection of fees. They also have limited budget, which is not enough to hire additional staff.

“NMA will oversee the operations of the facility since we can’t assign any of our staff to stay at the track from 8am to 8pm. I currently have five staff members that help in the maintenance of the other facilities at the sports complex,” Rogolifoi told Saipan Tribune.

“The fees that we’re going to charge are reasonable. NMA’s role is to collect the fees from all those who would use the track. The money that will be collected will help in the maintenance of the facility.”

Meanwhile, Rogolifoi said that the Northern Marianas Housing Corp., which helped fund the rehabilitation of the CNMI’s lone track and field facility, is already asking about the opening of the track and supports NMSA’s plan to charge user fees.

“NMHC has supported the idea of having a small fee for the use of the track oval. NMSA is a non-profit group and we need money to help us with the maintenance costs of the sports facilities here. We want to open the track this week. We plan to open it this week for the purpose of letting the athletes train for the Micro Games. Public use will be limited for the meantime, as athletes who will compete in the Micro Games need to train,” added Rogolifoi.

He said that lanes one to six would be for the exclusive use of the CNMI athletics training pool, while seven and eight are reserved to those who would jog, walk, and run around the track.

They would set guidelines and other rules for the usage of the facility. Strollers, bicycles, and scooters are definitely not allowed to avoid the wear and tear of the rubber surface. Rogolifoi said that they would also meet with officials from all NMSA-member federations to discuss the schedule and fees for the usage of the facility

“We will talk to soccer, rugby, football, and frisbee which use the field. Soccer would soon have their own field, but they could still use the field here. It is only a matter of scheduling their activities,” said the longtime CNMI sports official. “Right now the field is still closed. We’re waiting for the grass to grow and at the same time we’re looking for a compactor to even the field.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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