The Northern Marianas Sports Association board is looking at strengthening its partnership with the government, private sector, international federations, and the community in a bid to deliver what’s best for CNMI sports.
NMSA president Jerry Tan, during his speech at the NMSA Banquet last Wednesday night at the Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, identified the four groups as the board works on improving facilities in the CNMI, getting more people, especially the youth, involved in sports, and providing opportunities for both athletes and officials.
NMSA got off to a good start as early this month the board met with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and several officials of key government agencies at the former Kan Pacific Swimming Pool and discussed the re-opening of the facility the soonest possible time. The only Olympic-sized pool in the CNMI has been closed since Sept. 30, 2018, leaving hundred of swimmers without a proper training and competitive venue for more than a year. A day after the NMSA board met with Torres and company draining of the pool has started and work to re-open the facility is ongoing.
“Our swimmers deserved an appropriate facility and we will continue to work with different government agencies and the private sector in the next few months so we can re-open the pool,” Tan announced, drawing a loud cheer from the crowd.
Besides the planned re-opening of the 50-meter pool, some significant improvements have also taken place at the Oleai Sports Complex.
The new NMSA head, meanwhile, said they will keep reaching out to international sports groups, such as the Pacific Games Council and Oceania National Olympic Committees and expects local federations to work with their respective international associations to allow CNMI athletes and officials to join more programs and tournaments and gain access to valuable resources.
“Our international affiliation is very important because these federations give our athletes and officials opportunities to train and play in high-level competitions,” Tan said.
As for the community, Tan appealed for support to various programs and tournaments that NMSA-member federations are organizing.
“We would love to have them watch our games or bring their kids to play. Our community is our most important supporter so we want to get them more involved in every development program we have. It is our hope that getting more members of our community involved in sports would eventually lead to a healthier CNMI,” the NMSA president said.