Pacific Games Council executive director Andrew Minogue told Northern Marianas Sports Associations officials and representatives of all member sports federations in the CNMI to begin forming the committees that will be the backbone of the 2021 Pacific Mini Games.
Saipan will be hosting the 2021 Mini Games and Minogue, who had a two-day visit in the Commonwealth, said the CNMI should follow New Caledonia’s move of planning early once it was awarded the hosting rights for the 2011 Games in August 2005.
New Caledonia, after the PGC’s decision, immediately went to work and in the next three years had already formed various committees that was tasked to plan and handle facilities, logistics, games, technical officiating, accommodation, food, and medical.
Minogue, who met with NMSA officials and sports representatives last Monday night at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium conference room, said that Saipan has one of the best sports facilities in the region with some only needing renovation and minor repairs.
The Oleai Sports Complex will be the main hub of the Mini Games as it houses the Ada Gym, Oleai track and field facility and football field, Miguel “Tan Ge” Pangelinan softball field, the Francisco M. “Tan Ko’ Palacios Baseball Field, and the NMSA office.
Northern Marianas Badminton Association board member Christy Villaflor, who was one of the sports federation representatives who attended the meeting, said that Minogue has also advised them to ask their counterparts in the Oceania region for any assistance.
“As much as possible, Minogue wants to have certified technical officials that’s why he wants all sports groups to contact their federations in Oceania so it could schedule in conducting training and officiating seminars,” added Villaflor.
NMSA would also schedule a meeting with Gov. Eloy S. Inos to discuss plans on how the government could help in Saipan’s hosting of the quadrennial event six years from now.
Aside from Villaflor, NMSA president Mike White, executive director and Saipan Baseball League coordinator Tony Rogolifoi, Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association chief Laurie Peterka, Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation head John Hirsch, Northern Marianas Wrestling president Jason Tarkong, and Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Federation president Jeff Race attended the meeting.
Athletics, badminton, golf, tennis, canoe racing, volleyball (indoor and beach), baseball, sailing, swimming, triathlon, weightlifting, and wrestling are the 12 sports to be played in the 2021 Mini Games.