Former Member of Parliament, Aveau Niko Palamo, is the new Director of the Pacific Games Committee.
His appointment was confirmed by Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee Vice President, Leasi John Galuvao.
“Aveau is the 2019 Pacific Games Director who is working alongside with the C.E.O., Falefata Hele Ei Matatia.
“Aveau’s qualifications to assist Falefata are unquestionable and Aveau’s abilities and his experience will go a long way to assist with the upcoming Pacific Games next year."
“He is part of the team and Aveau is basically the go to person for everything concerning sports,” said Leasi.
Aveau is a former Manu Samoa 15's and 7's rugby player and coach. He was first elected to Parliament of the independent State of Samoa in the 2011 election.
Aveau was at one time the C.E.O. of S.A.S.N.O.C.
It was not possible to obtain a comment from Aveau yesterday.
Last month, the C.E.O. of the Pacific Games Council, Andrew Minogue visited Samoa to assess progress and offer assistance in preparing the newly established Pacific Games office for the work ahead of them.
“My impressions so far are very positive. My reception by the new Chief Executive Falefata Hele Matatia has been great. I leave knowing that knowledge and expectations are being heard and absorbed,” said Mr. Minogue in a statement.
Mr. Minogue is no stranger to Samoa, having played a key role as a Games adviser during the 2007 South Pacific Games. His insights from both an operational and strategic level have been well received by the Pacific Games 2019 C.E.O. Falefata.
“With the passing of the Pacific Games Act last week, Andrew’s visit is a timely and extremely valuable one. There are only 16 months left to prepare and any knowledge we can access to make these Games successful and memorable one is greatly appreciated,” said Falefata in the statement.
Over the past few days, Mr. Minogue and Falefata have been out meeting key stakeholders and potential sponsors.
“Raising public awareness about the Games and developing an inspiring and meaningful brand identity and marketing campaign are key priorities for the office,” said Falefata.
He also identified the refurbishments of venues as another key priority area that required urgent attention.
“There are 26 sports scheduled for the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games. Ensuring that the venues are all fit for purpose and meet international regulations will be a key focus going forward."
“Running alongside that is developing a Games schedule to help all Pacific teams prepare their athletes and officials,” said Falefata.
With just more than 460 days left before 4,000 athletes and officials are expected to converge on Samoa’s shores, time is of the essence.
“Our team is enthusiastic and ready for the challenge ahead. Next year the limelight will be on Samoa, and the world will have the opportunity to once again witness the talent of Samoa and Pacific athletes,” added Falefata.