NMI student-athletes get invites to off-island events
First up is the Oceania University Sports Association (OUSA) Beach Soccer Championship set from February 23 to 28 next year tentatively in Tahiti.
Veteran volleyball player Toni Yamada, who attended the meeting, said organizers of the beach soccer tournament are hoping that at least six teams will join next year’s competition.
“This is something that our soccer association can look into if they are willing to send a team. We have lots of beaches here so there’s place to train,” said Yamada.
The Australian University Games (AUG) is also inviting the CNMI and other small island countries to join next year’s weeklong sporting event with the host city and date still yet to be determined.
“Organizers of the [Australia Universiade] want other smaller island-nations to join that’s why we’re also being invited to participate,” Yamada added.
Sydney hosted the recently concluded AUG from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3 with more than 6,500 students from various universities in Queensland, the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia competing in the six-day event.
The CNMI, aside from the two events, is also preparing to compete in the 2015 Gwangju World University Summer Games in South Korea from July 3 to 14.
The Northern Marianas Sports Associations is hoping to send two student-athletes, who are either in high school or college, a coach, and an administrator to the biennial sporting event for 17 to 28 year olds.
Student-athletes Clay McCullough-Stearns and John Nekaifes and coach Russ Quinn represented the CNMI in beach volleyball when the games were held in Kazan, Russia from July 6 to 17 last year . Swimmer Rezne Wong and biker Matthew Mancao also competed for the CNMI in the International University Sports Federation-organized event in 2011 in Shenzhen, China.
Meanwhile, with the growing number of sporting events for CNMI student athletes, NMSA president Mike White has suggested that they invite or appoint one student representative to the NMSA board.
“It would be better to give student athletes a voice on the NMSA board,” said White. (Jon Perez)