Northern Marianas Sports Association is allocating $60,000 from its lottery earnings to Team CNMI’s participation in the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.
The financial assistance will be split among the athletes and officials from various sports that will join the Games, which will run from July 7 to 20.
So far, tennis, golf, athletics, badminton, rugby, swimming, va’a, and beach volleyball have either turned in the names of the athletes that will compete in the quadrennial event or confirmed their participation. NMSA is looking at over 70 athletes and officials with va’a initially listing 19 delegates, rugby with 12, tennis with nine, swimming and badminton with seven apiece, beach volleyball with six, and athletics and golf with five each.
Weightlifting, which initially committed to send at least four athletes, won’t make it to Samoa due to budgetary constraints. In the last two regional competitions (2017 Pacific Mini Games and 2018 Micronesian Games), weightlifters delivered medals for the Commonwealth.
The exact subsidy per delegate will be determined once NMSA finalize the Team CNMI roster, but it would not go lower than $500/each. The estimated cost of each delegate’s participation to the Pacific Games is a little over $3,000 with the bulk of it (between $2,000 to $2,600) going to airfare. Samoa organizers are charging $35 per diem for meals and accommodation/transportation at the Athlete’s Village.
On top of the $60,000 that NMSA will fork out, Team CNMI will also get $10,000 from the Oceania National Olympic Committee, where the Commonwealth is an associate member.
“We would like to thank ONOC for their assistance,” said NMSA president Michael White during the group’s monthly meeting last Thursday at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
White also announced that Team CNMI will not be able to get assistance from the government due to austerity measures.