“Accommodation a big challenge for Pacific Games”
The Team Tahiti Pacific Games delegation yesterday said accommodation arrangements will be a “big challenge” for athletes participating in the July 7-20 regional sporting event.
The delegation flew into Samoa are doing site visits of the various sporting venues and accommodation facilities and have met with the Pacific Games Office.
They also visited an accommodation compound owned by Samoa’s Methodist Church at Faleula, which the local organisers have earmarked as the Games Village for athletes and officials for the two-week event.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer through an interpreter, Team Tahiti’s head of delegation, Teva Bernadino, said he is bringing over 540 athletes and it will be “quite challenging” trying to host everyone at Faleula.
“The goal is to secure everything for our organisation to know what’s going on, and to show pictures of the athlete’s zones, and the Methodist Church complex is big but at the same time, it’s a bit small compared to how many people are going to come,” he said.
Mr. Bernadino said they have raised the issue with the Pacific Games Office management and they are waiting for feedback.
Bud Gilroy, another member of the Team Tahiti Delegation, said they are keen to find out how their team will be accommodated.
“We’re actually waiting on the Pacific Games to come back to us on how they’re going to organize it and where we’re going to stay,” he said.
But Pacific Games Chief Executive Officer, Falefata Hele Matatia, expressed confidence in their accommodation arrangements when responding to questions from the Samoa Observer.
"We stand by our accommodation strategy and plan to activate Faleula Methodist Compound as the Games Village and we are confident that there will be more than enough space for athletes and team Officials,” he said.
Pacific Games guests will also get the opportunity to experience Samoan culture by living within a village, Falefata added, which is in line with the Games Charter to build strong bonds between island nations.
“I know Tahiti were impressed with all the facilities during their tour, and they too recognise the power of sports to build stronger relationships between our nations for the future,” he said.
Despite concerns about accommodation, the Team Tahiti Delegation praised Samoa and the Pacific Games Office management and on their preparations after witnessing the groundwork and progress that the country is making.
“The sports venue is optimistic, even the transport plan for the country is very good,” Mr. Gilroy added.
They are scheduled to depart Samoa today for Tahiti.