Minister assures there is funding for Games participation
The Chairman of the Pacific Games Committee, Loau Keneti Sio, says there is funding available for schools preparing to perform in the Pacific Games next month.
Loau, who is also the Minister of Education Sports and Culture, said a budgetary appropriation has been made for the Pacific Games' opening and closing ceremonies which includes the participation of schools and this is in the budget.
"The message that has been relayed to me is that they have a budget for the opening and the closing," he said.
"So that budget covers all the expenses for transporting back and forth of the students, their meals and such are all covered in the budget by the Games Authority."
The Minister did not say what the budget was.
Loau told Samoa Observer that the school's preparations for the Games are "good", though he admitted that there are always obstacles.
"So what I have received is that everything is good and of course there are obstacles and with us all there are moments we dance and dance until we are tired and no longer want to, but this is our whole country’s preparation to the Games, and everybody is involved.
"Not only the school kids, [but] the teachers and the community as well," he said.
The Minister added that this is a great chance for the children of Samoa to make their historical mark as such events do not come around often.
"So I guess it’s a one-off thing, this may be coming maybe in another 20-30 years because other countries will be hosting also.
"But this is the right opportunity for us, this is a good opportunity for us, especially the students to make sure that they are involved and engaged in all this stuff, so they can experience and have the legacy of being involved and be a part of it; that’s how I look at it," he said.
Multiple schools — both primary schools and colleges around the island — are set to perform for the Pacific Games with their own adopted Pacific Islands nation, whom each school will be cheering for during the Games next month.
Last month one of the participating schools, Magiagi Primary School took time to showcase their preparations for their adopted country, Solomon Islands with officials from the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) present for the show.
Some participating schools also rescheduled their exams in order to accommodate their preparations for the Games. This includes Leifiifi College which started its exams earlier to give the students time to prepare for the Games.
Principal Malaea Lauano told the Samoa Observer they started their exams early so they could have time to prepare for the region's largest sporting event.
"We want to finish (and) lighten the load of the students so they can focus on one thing at a time, and so their studies won't be affected from the preparations for the Pacific Games," she said.
Leifiifi College staff and students will be cheering for the French territory of New Caledonia in the Games next month.