Northern Marianas Athletics official Robin Sapong is the new president of the Oceania Athletics Association.
Sapong, who is NMA’s secretary general, is elected as area president of the region following a Special Congress attended by OAA-member federations yesterday at the OAA headquarters in Gold Coast, Australia. Sapong replaced Norfolk Islands’ Geoff Garder, who served as OAA head for 13 years.
“I am humbled with this election. I thanked my Oceania and NMA family for the support and my family for standing beside me on this journey,” said Sapong, who’s been a member of the powerful OAA Council since 2007 and is the first official from the CNMI to have been elected OAA president.
With his election as area president, Sapong will also have a seat at the World Athletics Council, bringing OAA’s representative to the group to three. Gardner, the World Athletics Council vice president, and New Zealand’s Dame Valeria Adams, who serves as deputy chair of the Athletes Commission, are the two other OAA officials on the group. Sapong will oversee OAA’s affairs until 2023 and vows to work with the region’s local federations, its partners/supporters, and other stakeholders in strengthening the sport’s program.
The new OAA president added that athletes and coaches will remain their priorities and they will continue to engage in athletics activities whether these involve regular competitions or events that aim to promote a healthy and active lifestyle in the region.
“I look forward to write the next chapter of our sport through our collaborations and consultations with local clubs, member federations, and our partners,” Sapong said.
Meanwhile, NMA president Ramon Tebuteb congratulated Sapong for his historic election and said the association is eager to continue working together with OAA under the leadership of its new head.
“We are very proud of Robin Sapong and recognized all his efforts in the promotion and development of the sport in the CNMI and Oceania. We are also thankful to our Oceania family for their vote of confidence to Robin,” Tebuted said.
“We’ve been working with OAA for more than two decades and our athletics program is one of the longest-running ones in the CNMI and we will continue our mission, which is to develop and train more athletes and coaches. We will also remain committed to our local partners, both the public and private sectors, to keep our program running,” the NMA head said.