The man who has been entrusted with getting Samoa ready for the Pacific Games next year, Falefata Hele-Ei Matatia, is on a mission.
And the Chief Executive Officer is not wasting any time at all.
With less than 16 months to go before the opening ceremony of the highly anticipated Pacific Games, Falefata told the Samoa Observer that work is in progress for the preparations.
“There are two key areas which we are looking into now to start our preparations work from going on to the Pacific Games next year,” he said.
“The first key area is to start the work in re-renovating our facilities and start advertising the Games throughout the country and the region.
“First up, we have started our work in the process of consulting bids in re-renovating the facilities that needs refurbishment.”
Falefata said the focus for him and his team is also getting all the equipment that will be used during the games ready for the athletes.
That done, the second part of their work is a critical component.
That is to consult sponsors and stakeholders to develop an inspiring and meaningful brand identity and marketing campaign of the Pacific Games in Samoa and around the Pacific.
Falefata said his main objective is to ensure Samoa provides the best Games experience for the participants.
“We Samoans, we are known of our hospitality,” he said. “I am hoping that we will be in our best display in our preparation, in terms of sports facilities, as well as our athletes Team Samoa.
“I also want us to be in our best preparation through our athletes in winning more gold medals for our nation, as well as inspiring our athletes to work hard and be well prepared for these Games.”
Bringing the Games to Samoa is a huge opportunity, he added.
“It is like bringing a light to Samoa to showcase our people and what our nation can produce from our athletes in our core sports like weightlifting, boxing, rugby and so forth, as evident with the development of every sport here in Samoa.
“The Games will also attract more tourists to our country, which is a boost for our tourism industry.”
Falefata said one of the most exciting areas of the preparation is having his team work with him.
“The main drive in selecting my team behind the work is to try and get the people who are currently working in sporting bodies and have the experience in handling the work, as well as understand how to coordinate the Games.
“They are also looking forward to serving Samoa through their work in the technical side of the preparations.
“That’s the other beauty of the people we are now collaborating with for the preparations.
“Their support and experience through sports will help our preparations, not only for sports and athletes, but our administrative officials and everyone who will be involved to further their knowledge in hosting this type of international events.”
Falefata says he is humbled to be given such a responsibility.
“I feel very humbled and honoured to take up this role.
“I only hope that God’s glory will forever be glorified from the work that I will be putting in this new assigned role.
“I also want to take this role to represent and serve Samoa with honesty and integrity.”
Falefata says although he has a young team, he is certain that they will put their experience and skills in making the Games a success.
“We have a very young team and they are people who are engaged with sports here in Samoa, they are the people who have the knowledge of how the Sports are run here in Samoa and games administrations.
“So for me personally, I want their knowledge so that we won’t need overseas people coming in for these works.”
Falefata is calling on the people of Samoa to support the preparation works.
“The Pacific Games will be for Samoa and its people, as well as the future generation.
“We sometimes take for granted the significant side of sports in every child’s life, but this is one of the key aspects to developing a healthy and successful side of life.”