Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has committed to appropriating an additional $1 million on top of the $3 million he originally committed to the staging of the 2022 Pacific Mini Games on Saipan.
According to a letter from Torres, with the inclusion of three more events—tennis, weightlifting, and Va’a (outrigger)—the CNMI certifies a commitment of $4 million to the 2022 Pacific Mini Games Committee for the event’s facilitation.
Initially, the Mini Games was scaled down to just six events and the proposed budget was trimmed from $8 million to $3 million. With the inclusions of three new sports to the events calendar, the Mini Games will now feature nine events bumping the needed funding up to $4 million.
“It is a great honor to host the 2022 Pacific Mini Games. This wonderful demonstration of collaboration and partnership is truly an event worthy of celebration. As we emerge from this crisis, this Games, and the ability of sport to bring people together, is a welcome sign of normalcy and a celebration of our resilience and the cultural ties that bind us,” he said.
Initial payment in preparation of the events will be remitted to the Pacific Mini Games 2022 Organizing Committee by the CNMI Department of Finance within the month of April.
According Marco Peter, Pacific Mini Games 2022 Organizing Committee chairman, the committee is excited and glad about the support shown by the administration on the inclusion of three more events.
“It’s been a long time but we’re excited and glad. We’re sending out the original letter from the administration that we will be doing the Games,” he said.
However, Peter said that the commitment still doesn’t guarantee that the CNMI will be allowed to host the additional three events, but a commitment letter from the both the governor and committee shows the Mini Games council how serious the CNMI is about these events.
“We’re excited and the athletes are excited. This is the first ever [event] of this capacity and we cannot fail. It is our time to showcase our islands, our culture and that’s just as big as the Games,” he said.
Andrew Minogue, Pacific Games Counsil chief executive officer, who attended the committee meeting virtually, said he is pleased with the CNMI government’s commitment to the Games.
Currently, athletics, baseball, badminton, beach volleyball, golf, and triathlon are the six sports that will officially be played in the 2022 Pacific Mini Games.