Pacific Games Council commends Samoa
Pacific Games Council Life Member, Roger Kaddour, has congratulated Samoa for a well-organised sporting event over the past two weeks.
Mr. Kaddour is one of the founders and former President of the Pacific Games Council, and at 91 years of age, he is still involved and travels to hosts countries.
“My first visit to Samoa was a long time ago when Samoa was accepted to be the host of the Games after Guam (1975),” he said during an interview.
“So I came around to visit Samoa and after three days I said no you are not ready for the Games, I don’t give you four years but eight years to prepare.
“Samoa was not very happy. Fiji hosted the Games in 1979, and Samoa waited but in 1983, hosted a good Games and it was the same in 2007.
“Samoa is very good in doing that and I am glad to see what Samoa has done. I am very happy. All is done very well. I am glad to be here with you and to see how the game has been done. Samoa has done perfectly well.”
Mr. Kaddour said every country has their manner of organising the sport, and Samoa has done well.
“I congratulate Samoa in the way they have organized the event, very good organisation of the event.
“Nothing is easy when we have to host 24 countries, and Samoa has done very well.”
He added the Pacific Games become more important every time and the number of athletes keeps increasing.
“In Fiji when we started the number of athletes was 700 and today in Samoa we have 4,000 athletes and officials.
“So every four years, the number keeps increasing and the Games have been very well organised. Every time it’s different, and the spirit of the game is always there.”
Mr. Kaddour said he was 30 years old when he became President of the Council, and was dubbed the “pen of the charter”.
“There were four of us who had to write the charter and the other three were older than me, and I was tasked to write as those with me were older. I was called the ‘pen of the charter’.”
Mr. Kaddour is a football and tennis player, but never represented his country, New Caledonia.
“I preferred to be an athlete but the council put me as President, and I was the youngest president.”
Speaking on New Caledonia’s success in the past Games, he said: “You must work hard and respect yourself and others. You have to always be polite. It is important to be the best. We are not the best in every sport, but the spirit is always to win. All the sports are important to us.”
Asked if he will be part of the Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands in 2023, he said: “I don’t know, and I use a cane to walk, despite not liking it.”