The Pacific Mini Games Organizing Committee had its first meeting yesterday and went down to business quickly, identifying the group’s priorities in the next few months to kick into high gear the CNMI’s preparations for the 2022 Pacific Mini Games.
On top of the committee’s to-do list is the hiring of the Mini Games’ chief executive officer, which will oversee the day-to-day preparation for the Commonwealth’s hosting of the quadrennial competition. A selection committee has been formed to fast-track the process of filling up the key position with Pacific Mini Games Organizing Committee chair Rep. Marco Peter (R-Saipan) on the group along with Oversight Committee head Alex Sablan, Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue, and Northern Marianas Sports Association president Jerry Tan.
Minogue attended virtually the organizing committee’s first meeting since the group was formed in November last year and concurred with the steps Peter and company must take with the event just a little over 17 months away. The Mini Games is scheduled from June 17 to 25 next year.
To help the CNMI hire a CEO for the Mini Games, the PGC provided the organizing committee a $20,000 financial assistance.
“Hiring a CEO is very critical in the CNMI’s hosting of the Mini Games and we, at the Pacific Games Council, are happy to help you move forward with the preparations for the event,” Minogue said.
Besides selecting a CEO for the Mini Games, Minogue and the organizing committee have also agreed that working on a proposal for sponsorships of the Games and finalizing the event’s budget should also be prioritized. In the earlier deal between the PGC and the host island, through the NMSA, the costs of the Mini Games are pegged at $3 million, down from $8 million, as the sports program was trimmed from 12 to six
There is a proposal to add two more events—tennis and weightlifting—to the Mini Games program and that would require additional funding. The Mini Games will be funded through government financial assistance, private sector sponsorships and donations, and fees from participating countries. The Pacific Games Association has 22 members and Minogue has estimated the participation of athletes and officials in the Mini Games at 100 per sport.
Other key areas of concern
With the COVID-19 pandemic still a major problem across the globe, the delegates’ health and safety were also discussed at the organizing committee’s meeting yesterday at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
The committee will be working closely with the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services to address this issue.
Another concern raised is the transportation of off-island delegates. With flights limited due to the pandemic, there’s a need to coordinate with airline companies early for the travel arrangements of the Mini Games participants.
As for accommodation, majority of the delegates will be housed in schools, but there are some who may opt to stay in hotels, so discussions on offering special rates for Mini Games participants were opened.