With only 13 more months to go before the Pacific Games, the Oceania National Olympic Committee (O.N.O.C.) has gathered to discuss ways of helping Samoa better host next year’s Games.
The meeting begins this week and includes all the National Olympic Committees from the Oceania region, including New Zealand and Australia.
According to the President of Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C), Patrick Fepuleai, there will be workshops held during the week.
“It is a very diverse agenda. We have workshops going on this week where people from the I.O.C. from Switzerland are here to carry out workshops on different things that are available to us.
“We also have workshops on things like integrity and how to properly run sporting bodies.”
Speaking to the Samoa Observer was the President of the O.N.O.C., Robin Mitchell, who said the main aim of the event is to help Samoa gear up for the Games.
“The main aim that we have is that we want to educate and we are here to support Samoa. It has been a bit difficult because Samoa has just had their budget.
“We have a family sports education programme where we train locals to deliver courses in administration and courses in proceeding project and our main aim is to train locals to run the courses in their programme and in their language and they can also pass on what they have learnt.
“We will be helping in courses like training the medical team and during the Games in whatever areas that Samoa needs, for instance if they don’t have physiotherapy then we would bring some in,” he said.
“Our programme in the past two years, the year before the Games, we come to the country that is hosting the Games. So we bring with us O.S.F.O. the Olympic Sports Federation of Oceania, these are the federations that will be running the Games.
“So they are here to work with their counterparts locally, like Oceania basketball will be working the Samoan basketball to prepare to host the Games next year.”
On Saturday there will be a general assembly for the O.N.O.C. while Sunday would the general assembly for the Pacific Games, he said.
Fepuleai also emphasized on the importance of sports because it could also promote healthy living in reducing illness and obesity.
On Tuesday evening an ava ceremony was held at the Falesamoa of the National University of Samoa to officially welcome the committee to Samoa.