Tan: We will deliver a very good Mini Games


Northern Marianas Sports Association president Jerry Tan delivers his message during the 2021 NMSA Awards Banquet last April 19 at Kensington Hotel. (MARK RABAGO)

Northern Marianas Sports Association president Jerry Tan is optimistic that the CNMI will be able to pull off a successful staging of the Northern Marinas Pacific Mini Games this coming June.

Between Super Typhoon Yutu and the COVID-19 pandemic that ultimately postponed the Mini Games from 2021 to 2022, Tan said the Commonwealth’s hosting of the quadrennial event presented a lot of challenges.

“But through the help of the Mini Games organizing committee and the board of directions of NMSA, we will deliver a very good Mini Games. It won’t be a perfect Mini Games but it will be a good Mini Games,” he said during the 2021 NMSA Awards Banquet last April 19 at Kensington Hotel.

He also wants everyone in the CNMI to be cognizant that hosting the Mini Games doesn’t happen all the time and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for island nations under the Pacific Games Council.

“I’ve been talking to a lot of people around the island and asking everyone to really start paying attention to the Mini Games. We are the hosts and we are welcoming over 1,800 athletes and officials, who like us have not been traveling much. And when they do, they will be coming to Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.”

Tan went on to point out that unlike the last time the CNMI played host to the Micronesian Games in 2006, this year’s Mini Games will truly be hosted by the entire CNMI with triathlon conducting not one but three races on Rota and volleyball holding its consolation matches on Tinian.

“We made sure that we will hold sports events on all three islands and I would like to thank volleyball and triathlon for willing to host their respective sports outside the island of Saipan. But we also want you to be a real host to our visiting teams. We also need a lot of volunteers and I’m looking for volunteers and I’m looking for you to cheer team CNMI.”

The NMSA president also gave kudos to local athletes of athletics, badminton, baseball, beach volleyball, golf, tennis, triathlon, va’a, and weightlifting who are currently training to best represent the CNMI in the quadrennial event set from June 17 to 25 this year.

“This is going to be an exciting competition but at the end of the day you will have to know how hard every sport and every athlete are currently training. I think most of you know, if you want to compete at the highest level you would have to put in a lot of hard work and this is one of the very few times that we’re actually competing at home.”

On the challenges the CNMI’s Mini Games hosting is currently presenting, Tan said chief among them is the U.S. visa required for some athletes to enter the CNMI. He said this has been complicated more because many U.S. consulates are closed during the pandemic. Another problem that Tan stated is the construction at the Oleai Sports Complex and how it was delayed for months due to a myriad of reasons.

During his speech, Tan also acknowledged Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and his administration, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, NMSA board of directors, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. CEO Esther Muña and her team and COVID-19 Task Force chair Warren Villagomez for helping in the successful staging of the Mini Games.

In the end, Tan hopes the 2022 Mini Games’ legacy will results in a healthier CNMI.

“We want to do our best to support our community. Our goal is to get more people out and be active and healthier. It is not all about winning. It’s about becoming a healthy community,” he said. (With reports from Jinkim Abogado)

Saipan Tribune

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