New Polynesian Games proposal on the agenda

A proposal for a new Polynesian Games will be on the agenda of the 9th Polynesian Leaders Group meeting in Tuvalu this week. 

During his weekly radio programme, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi confirmed that the proposal for a new regional sports meeting is on the agenda. 

“It is time we have these games,” said Tuilaepa. "Samoa has the facilities and I don’t see why we shouldn’t [have the games]."

The Polynesian Leaders Group (P.L.G.) was formed in September 2011 and Prime Minister Tuilaepa initiated the meeting - which first brought together the leaders of Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, and Niue - on the sidelines of the Pacific Islands Forum (P.I.F.) summit in Auckland.

Since that initial meeting the P.L.G. was initially expanded to further include American Samoa, French Polynesia, Tokelau, and Wallis and Futuna. (Hawaii, Rapinoe and Maori have since also been admitted). 

In a statement on the Polynesian Games, the Prime Minister said athletes from Papua New Guinea and other Melanesian countries performed exceptionally well in individual sports such as athletics, compared to their rivals from Polynesian countries.

The Prime Minister said that the Melanesian Games, held every two years in the lead up to the main Pacific Games, is a contributing factor to their success. 

He wants athletes from the 12 member countries of the Polynesian Leaders Group afforded the same opportunity.

“The more competitions, the better chances our athletes will have to fine tune their preparations for the full Pacific Games,” said the Prime Minister.

And he will also be proposing Samoa plays host to the first Polynesian Games, taking into account the availability of sports facilities and infrastructure coupled with the country’s track record to host events at a moment’s notice following the hurried execution of last month's Pacific Games. 

The Prime Minister will be in Tuvalu this week to attend the 50th Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting and related meetings on E.U.A.C.P. Pacific; Small Island States and the Polynesian leaders group. 

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