The Northern Marianas Mini Games Organising Committee is looking to help Tokelau send its athletes to this year’s Mini Games by tapping Pacific Games Council grants.
“Tokelau is a small, very tiny community and they’ve only sent a handful of athletes in previous Games. We’re trying to facilitate through the Pacific Games Council CEO Andrew Minogue if we can have access to grants to pay for Tokelau athletes’ airfare to the CNMI,” said MGOC CEO Vicente “Ben” Babauta.
He added that Tokelau to begin with is not expected to send a large delegation to the quadrennial event the Commonwealth will be hosting for the first ever.
“Only 5-10 small group of athletes. It would be nice for them to be here. If that grant application goes through,” he said.
Meanwhile, Babauta said he continues to push the 24 countries that’s part of the Pacific Games Council to update their numerical entries to this year’s Mini Games, including both athletes and officials.
He said, so far, 15 of the 24 have given their latest delegation numbers for the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 and they are the following: Cook Islands (26), Fiji (104), Guam (146), Kiribati (46), Marshall Islands (26), Nauru (52), New Caledonia (128), Palau (129), Papua New Guinea (148), Tahiti (195), Tuvalu (57), Vanuatu (43), Wallis & Futuna (39), and the CNMI (175).
The nine countries that have yet to update their numeral entries are American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Australia, New Zealand, Niue, Norfolk Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga.
“We’re just holding the numbers for nine countries that are uncertain because of COVID-19…” according to Babauta.
Babauta also proudly announced that with the addition of Nishtah Sharma Thomas as communications and marketing supervisor the staff of the MGOC is finally complete.
The rest of the MGOC include chair Marco Peter, sports director Ray Tebuteb, logistics supervisor Ezra Yumul, office manager and HR Michele Joab, finance manager Ladyvir Canape, and administrative assistant Marie Christ Fajardo Manebo.
In an email, Thomas said she arrived on Saipan a couple of weeks ago and have been working on boosting the Northern Marianas Mini Games’ internet and social media presence. She also happily shared that the MGOC recently had a team-building activity with the help of the Northern Marianas National Paddle Sports Federation.
“As a full staff, we are working on connecting with the local national teams and sports participating in the Games this summer. And so, after work [two Fridays ago], we met with the va’a team and learned some paddling tips and tricks from them!”
Thomas also provided an update on the renovations of the Oleai Sports Complex facilities leading up to the Mini Games this coming June
“Construction on Oleai Sports Complex is supposed to begin. We will be having badminton at the [Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium], athletics on the track and field, and baseball on the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Baseball Field. For most of our other venues, we are just working on making sure they are up to the official Mini Games standards. We have also procured most of the materials required for each sport, like new V1 canoes and a nice new set of bikes for the triathlon competitors,” she said.
She also encouraged anyone who has a lot of free time this coming Summer and also want to experience the Mini Games first hand to sign up as a volunteer.
“Want to be a part of the Games? Let us know how you would like to help, either right away with organization and planning, or during the event itself. Sign up to volunteer today at: https://northernmarianas2022.com/volunteer/.”
SOURCE: SAIPAN TRIBUNE/ PACNEWS