Samoa, as one of the three countries that submitted bids to host the Pacific Games 2019 after Tonga’s withdrawal earlier this year, is looking like a front runner.
Samoa, along with Guam and Tahiti, has expressed interest in the hosting role, with less than two years to go.
The President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakham, and C.E.O., Andrew Minogue, have completed a three-day evaluation visit to Samoa.
Their visit included meeting with Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, together with the Minister of Finance and Minister of Sports, to ensure the Samoa Government has agreed to fully support and financially underwrite Samoa’s hosting.
Vidhya Lakham said the P.G.C. delegation is thankful to the Samoa Government for showing interest in hosting the Games in this time of need.
“The full and financial support the Samoa Government adds to the vital component of stability, and is certainly what the P.G.C. is seeking in the wake of the Tongan Government’s withdrawal as Games host.”
To President, Vidhya Lakham, the Pacific Games cannot process without the green light from the government.
“In our meeting with the Prime Minister of Samoa he expressed his sincere support and I believe Samoa has put in a very strong bid”.
The P.G.C. delegation highlighted three crucial factors for their visit, and they believe Samoa capitalized on all three of them.
“We based our evaluation on having the full support of the government, proper facilities, and the capability of well-trained people to officiate the Games. Basically, Samoa has all that.”
“Samoa has indicated a very strong expression of interest to host and has demonstrated during our visit that they have the facilities and capability required to deliver a successful Games in a short space of time.”
Mr. Vidhya Lakham and Andrew Monogue are delighted with the sports facilities Samoa has. “We have conducted our visit to all the sports facilities and we are impressed they have been well maintained since Samoa hosted the South Pacific Games in 2007 and the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games. They now only require a minimal level of renovation to be ready to host the Pacific Games 2019.”
These relatively recent major Games also mean that Samoa’s sports federations have the degree of competence and experience necessary to deliver a large scale event like P.G.2019, in a short space of time.
The Pacific Games Council also met with business leaders whose companies have a regional profile, as well as the S.A.S.N.O.C. Board.
“We’ve met with Digicel, B.S.P. and A.N.Z. board members about collaborating with the Games, and they have also showed interest in lending a hand.”
C.E.O., Andrew Minogue, said they also met with Samoa’s Attorney General to obtain approval for the draft host contract, which would, in the event Samoa is successful, be signed by the P.G.C. President, the S.A.S.N.O.C. President and Samoa’s Prime Minister.
The Pacific Games Council’s President, Vidhya Lakham, will travel next week to Tahiti and Guam, conducting their evaluations, and will be announcing the Pacific Games host on 1 September.