Pacific Games Council officials will pay Saipan a visit next month to get updates on the CNMI’s preparations for the 2021 Pacific Mini Games.
Northern Marianas Sports Association president Michael White, during NMSA’s monthly meeting last Thursday at the American Red Cross/NMI Chapter office at the Airport Road, said PGC president Vidya Lakhan and executive director Andrew Minogue will be on Saipan in the latter part of March and will meet with local sports officials and other working groups involved in the Commonwealth’s hosting of the quadrennial event. White added that the two visitors will check on the facilities that will be used for the competitions.
The Oleai Sports Complex will be the main hub of the Mini Games and will undergo a major facelift after sustaining massive damage from Super Typhoon Yutu late last year. NMSA executive director Tony Rogolifoi is coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the CNMI public assistance office to secure funding for repair work and fast-track the process. Another NMSA official, Laurie Peterka, is leading a group that is working on seeking a federal grant for the construction or improvement of sports facilities and equipment. NMSA is hoping to get the facilities ready for the Mini Games by July next year.
Meanwhile, NMSA, on behalf of the host country, also needs to submit a status report on its preparations for the Mini Games in a meeting in Fiji next month.
Besides the updates on the facilities and logistics, NMSA is pressed, too to give information on the funding for the event.
NMSA, during its meeting with government officials, was told that the administration of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres will need to identify first a source of revenue for which the financial aid for the Games will come from.
“The governor knows we are working on a deadline and they promise to do their best to meet it so we can submit our status report in the March meeting in Fiji,” White said.
NMSA had already presented to the governor the proposed budget for the Mini Games, but declined to disclose the amount. When the CNMI submitted a bid to host the Mini Games, its proposal included the estimated costs ($1,160,000) of holding the event on Saipan and the government may be asked to fork out $250,000, while the rest will come from participation fees from the 22 nations and private sector sponsorships.