Council: Pacific Games on track
The Pacific Games Council believes Samoa are on track to deliver a very good Pacific Games in July.
Executive director Andrew Minogue has visited Samoa this week as part of the chef de missions meeting, with the heads of 13 of the 24 competing countries’ delegations travelling here to inspect the facilities and services that will be in place come July.
Minogue has visited Samoa four times now since the Samoan Pacific Games Office began their work a year ago, and said from what he has seen on all these trips is that the preparations are definitely advancing.
“The’ve progressed well, and we’re in very good shape with four months to go to host a really really successful games here in July.”
He said he was very pleased to see Pacific Games Office chief executive officer Falefata Hele Matatia’s team has grown.
“We can really see that the level of planning has advanced quite considerably even since I was last here in October.
“I’m not losing any sleep over the organisation of these Games, they’ll be fine.”
Minogue said there was no real area of concern around preparations for the Pacific Games, although did mention one message the Council always give to any host nation for an upcoming competition.
“My biggest hope for Samoa is that your own athletes are prepared to win gold medals here at the Games.”
He said ensuring the team get their best chance of getting golds, getting high up medal table as possible was crucial.
“That’s what generates the public support throughout the Games, to make sure the spectators keep coming back to these venues day after day to support your athletes.”
Falefata said the Pacific Games Office has made it a priority that they ensure the athletes don’t get left behind.
“This was one of the reasons why we signed the memorandum of understanding with Samoa Association of Sports National Olympic Committee from the get-go.”
Because many of the venues for July are undergoing refurbishment and renovation work, a lot of Team Samoa athletes have been left without somewhere to train on the island.
Andrew Minogue said it was positive that 290 Samoans were travelling to China for training camps in the months leading up to the Games, to get around this issue.
He also said concerns around accomodation flagged by Team Tahiti’s delegation during their own site visit earlier this year have not been communicated to him, or the Pacific Games Council.
“People will have their own views on the facilities and the village and the services that are going to be provided and they might not always be positive.”
Minogue said he doesn’t believe it is something that concerns the Tahiti Olympic Committee.
“Otherwise they would have made contact with us.”