By TAROMANE MARTIN
The Pacific Games Council (PGA) has granted the Northern Marianas request to postponed the 2021 Pacific Mini Games to 2022.
The PGA in a statement said this was at the request of the Northern Mariana Islands Governor Honorable Ralph Torres and the Northern Marianas Sports Association.
PGC said with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of the 2018 Super Typhoon Yutu and after the original dates of June 2021 were effectively rendered impossible by the rescheduling of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“In light of containing the COVID-19 situation and in consultation with the 22 member Pacific Games Association, The Pacific Games Council has agreed to the request of the Commonwealth of
Northern Mariana Islands Governor, The Hon. Ralph Torres, and the host PGA, the Northern Marianas Sports Association, to defer the 11th Pacific Mini Games until 17-25 June 2022,” the statement reads.
“Earlier this year, the original dates of June 2021 were effectively rendered inoperable by the rescheduling of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The PGC then requested that the hosts in the CNMI consider a December 2021 time frame for the Games. However, the schools and associated infrastructure required to accommodate, feed and transport the athletes, will still be required for education purposes at that time, with the CNMI education calendar aligned to that in the U.S
“The PGC and its membership is therefore proud to support the CNMI in their ambition to host their first ever Pacific Mini Games in June 2022, notwithstanding the many challenges of COVID-19 and 2018’s Super Typhoon Yutu, which have damaged the CNMI economy.
“President Vidhya Lakhan personally thank Governor Torres for his continued support for the CNMI hosting their first ever Pacific Mini Games in 2022, despite the economic and health challenges posed by the pandemic.
“He said that the member Pacific Games Associations stand ready to support these Games in 2022 and we all wish the CNMI the best of luck as it deals with the challenges, we are all facing at this time,” the statement adds.
Meanwhile, Solomon Islands preparations to host the 2023 Pacific Games in Honiara is ongoing. A 17 project team members from China are still in the country to finalize design plans for the seven China funded facilities for the games.
The design staff are expected to return to China at the end of the month, once their concept designs are completed, and should be able to finalize their work before the end of the year.
“By the way things are going they should be able to do the design work by December and they’ll go back to China to get the government to tender for construction. So that should give them ample time for them to prepare to come and commence the work on the first of May,”. NHA Christian Neing had said.