Samoa’s bid under the gun
Top Pacific Games Council officials in Samoa to assess the facilities
The President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Minogue, are in Samoa.
They are here assess the venues -- including the Faleata Sports Complex -- as part of Samoa’s bid to host the Pacific Games in 2019.
This was confirmed by the President of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C), Fepuela’i Patrick Fepulea’i, in response to Samoa Observer questions.
“Mr. Lakhan arrived Monday night and they are here to evaluate what we have offered in our Expression of Interest,” he said.
“Today (Tuesday) they are looking at the facilities and tomorrow (Wednesday) they will meet with our officials, such as the Prime Minister and others, about what Samoa has to offer to the Pacific Games 2019.
Samoa is among three countries to have submitted bids after Tonga pulled out. Guam and Tahiti are the other two.
“Apparently, we are the first country where the Pacific Games Council have conducted a site visit.... and I know we have a good chance,” said Fepulea’i.
“We hosted the Commonwealth Games recently, and while the Pacific Games is bigger, Samoa can be a host country given that we have the proper facilities.”
Fepulea’i added that the Samoa visit is a critical part of the bid assessment.
“We won’t know until 1 September 2017 which country will host the Pacific Games.”
As reported earlier, Samoa has already started its preparations to host the Pacific Games 2019.
Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi is driving the bid and is the Chairman of the Pacific Games 2019 Preparations Executive Committee.
“I remain firm in my resolve that we are more than prepared to host the Pacific Games,” Tuilaepa said during a recent interview.
“We have the facilities, coupled with our impeccable hosting record of world sporting events.
“In recent years, Samoa hosted the Oceania Weightlifting Championships, the Commonwealth Youth Games and the All Blacks test against Manu Samoa.
“Subsequently, China recently committed to fund major improvements to our sporting facilities at Apia Park and Tu’anaimato.
“We always stand ready to host international sporting events because of the capabilities and the quality of sporting facilities constructed for the 2007 Pacific Games.”
Earlier this month, Tuila'epa also wrote to the President of the Pacific Games Council reaffirming Samoa’s request to host the Pacific Games.
In that letter, the Prime Minister indicated that if Samoa is given the hosting rights, he would return to competition as one of the country’s archery competitors.
In 2007, Tuilaepa became the first government leader to represent his country in an international sport competition, during the Pacific Games in Samoa.
He won a silver medal and says he will make his comeback in 2019, in Apia, to claim the gold medal he missed out on in 2007.