CNMI sports staunched supporter Jerry Tan was voted president of the Northern Marianas Sports Association during the group’s board election last Wednesday.
Joining Tan, who is also the head of the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, on the NMSA board of officers are Northern Marianas Athletics’ Ramon Tebuteb (vice president); Northern Marianas National Paddling Sports Federation’s Valerie Hofschneider (secretary); and Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation’s John Hirsh (treasurer). Directors Justin Andrew, James Lee, and Laurie Peterka are on the board, too, while two more individuals (athletes and students’ representatives) will be selected to complete the group of officials. They will serve on the board for two years.
“I am honored and humbled with this election and deeply grateful for the trust that the NMSA board and the general membership have given me.” Tan said.
“The new NMSA board and the rest of the sports community, along with our government and business leaders have a lot of work to do, as we prepare for the hosting of the 2021 Pacific Mini Games and address the concerns of our athletes, coaches, and each sports federation. With these challenges ahead, I humbly ask for everyone’s support so that we can achieve our goals for CNMI sports,” the new NMSA head added.
After the election, the NMSA board immediately had a meeting to discuss its priorities. Concerns on facilities, particularly the Oleai Sports Complex and the former Kan Pacific Swimming Pool, competitions (international and local) and technical development of each sports federation, and funding/finances were mentioned along with the possible approaches to them. Tan proposed to create committees that would focus on these priorities, while further discussion among the NMSA general membership and the active involvement of the private and public sectors are expected in the coming months, as the new NMSA leadership aims to bring everyone on board to get things going.
Meanwhile, the new NMSA board would like to acknowledge its predecessor, particularly former NMSA president Michael White, who led the group for 16 years. White was nominated on the board anew during last month’s selection, but politely withdrew his nomination.
“For 16 years, Michael White steered NMSA through hardships and triumphs. To volunteer his time and effort for that long period of time speaks volume of his profound love and concern to CNMI sports, particularly our athletes. He has done a lot for CNMI sports and the new NMSA board will do its very best to continue the changes and developments he has instilled,” Tan said.
Under White’s leadership, the CNMI was able to win the hosting rights for the 2006 Micronesian Games and the 2021 Pacific Mini Games. He also led the Commonwealth in the 2010 Micronesian Games in Palau where the CNMI won its most gold medals (44).
The CNMI Sports Hall of Famer was at the forefront, too, of the successful move to give NMSA the right to manage and maintain the Oleai Sports Complex. White also helped NMSA/CNMI gain membership to the Oceania National Olympic Committee and Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire, allowing CNMI athletes and officials to participate in events sanctioned by the two groups. The former NMSA head had also coordinated with government agencies and other concerned groups to seek grants for the improvement of the sports facilities in the Commonwealth.
“On behalf of the new NMSA board, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Michael White for without his leadership and passion for CNMI sports, these accomplishments will not be possible. He will be an inspiration to us, as we work on realizing our vision for NMSA and the members of our sports community,” Tan said. (PR)