China steps up for new multipurpose gym

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Work on the new multipurpose Gymnasium at Faleata for the 2019 Pacific Games is underway.

At the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa acknowledged the bilateral relationship between Samoa and China.

“This China Samoa partnership has grown from strength to strength in the past and no doubt will grow stronger in the future,” she said.

“When Samoa won the bid to host the Pacific Games after Tonga withdrew its hosting status, the Government of Samoa submitted a proposal to the Chinese Government through the China Aid Assistance to assist us in the rehabilitating of the existing facilities built under the China Aid Funds." 

“These facilities include the Samoa Aquatic Centre the Apia Park Main Stadium Apia Park Gymnasium and the Apia Park Tennis Courts.”

Fiame said a team of engineers from China arrived at the beginning of the year to conduct a thorough study of the project. 

The study concluded that the gymnasium at Apia Park was not structurally safe and was no longer fit for competition purposes. 

“A decision was reached that the Apia Park Gymnasium will be pull down and the new multipurpose gymnasium will be built at the same location,” said Fiame.

“However due to recent flooding at Apia and the Apia Park area, Cabinet made the decision to reallocate to this site at Tuanaimato for this project.”

WORK UNDERWAY: Officals at the ground breaking ceremony yesterday.
WORK UNDERWAY: Officals at the ground breaking ceremony yesterday.

Shanghai Construction Ltd. has been awarded the project. 

 “We are all well aware of the challenge that we face due to the time constraints that we do believe that this project will come through so that we can deliver a successful Pacific Games next year,” said Fiame.

Chinese Embassy Charge De Affaire, Li Hao Xing, said everyone is looking at Samoa in terms of hosting the Games.

“There is a very limited time left before the opening of the 2019 Pacific Games although the preparations becomes extremely tight, Chinese Government still arrange this project,” she said.

“This new gymnasium will cover the area of 5600 square metres and will host sports such as badminton, table tennis, basketball, netball and volleyball." 

“There will be 1200 seats and 200 movable seats. This gym is planned to be completed by May 30, 2019.”

Ms. Li said the multipurpose gymnasium will not only serve for the upcoming Pacific Games, but also strengthens the friendship between the two countries. 

“It will be a symbol of friendship between China and Samoa and contribute to the sports developments for all Samoan citizens.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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