By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – 18 AUGUST 2018: Savai’i Island will play a major part in next year’s Pacific Games when they host the Boxing competition, the only of the 26 sports available to be staged outside of the main sporting complex in Apia.
The Samoa Pacific Games Chief Executive Officer, Falefata Hele Matautia said the Pacific Games Committee accepted a request from the Samoa Amateur Boxing Association (SABA) to have them host Boxing in Savai’i.
SABA President Papali’i Poloa commended Games Committee for accepting the request.
“It is important for Savai’i to host such an event and for people to know that what is good for Apia is also good for Savai’i,” said Papali’i.
He said Savaii has a variety of good hotels and other upgraded facilities that can cater for big events as witnessed by members of the Pacific Games Committee during their visit to Savai’i.
Twenty six sports have been confirmed and while most sports are conducted within the vicinity of Apia, only Boxing and Open Water Swimming are held outside the sports vicinity.
The Games will run for two weeks from 7-20 July 2019 and the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (MESC) has been tasked with the preparation of the opening and closing ceremonies.
Focus on Team Samoa development
The Samoa Association of Sports & National Olympic Committee (SASNOC) has already started with various workshops and training programs to put Team Samoa in place.
CEO Tuala Mathew Vaea said the main focus last month was the clarification of roles and responsibilities of Managers and Coaches to ensure that each person is clear of their specific roles and responsibilities.
There is a long term vision and Mission Statement for Team Samoa and all National Sports Federations that encourages working together with Team Samoa Chef de Mission Nynette Sass on this.
Tuala said they are seeking inputs from local experts on how to build Team Samoa as a brand and what are the components that contribute to marketing and sponsorships.
The third focus is on athletes to have a voice in the development of the vision and mission for Team Samoa. Tuala said most of the times only the voice of either the Team Manager or Coach is heard.
“It is important to have athletes say and voice in the development of a vision, mission and values of what Team Samoa is, and the focus this month is for athletes to have a say and ownership of our vision as Team Samoa,” said Tuala.
The focus in September is the protection of athletes, and according to Tuala, if Team Samoa has 700 athletes on top of the 4,000 that would be coming in from other countries it opens different kinds of connectivity.
“We have to protect our athletes at the maximum capacity of mixing with different cultures, religions and different behaviours,” said Tuala.
There are only 11 months away from the game and SASNOC is working at developing processes to assist national sports by way of budget planning, game plans, resources planning, management and setting certain roles with the hope that Team Samoa will achieve its goal.
Sports facilities close to renovations
The People’s Republic of China is again assisting with the preparation for the Pacific Games by renovating several sports facilities.
Falefata said come next month, these facilities will be officially handed over to the Chinese contractor for renovations and will be handed back to the Samoa Sports facility in May 2019 before the games in July.
Also approved is the new multipurpose centre to be constructed at Tuanaimato, while other facilities renovations will be under the Government funding.
SPG is also working with the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) and the Samoa Hotels Association to secure rooms for the games participants.
Falefata said they are looking for 1600 to 2500 volunteers to assist in the running of the games. He acknowledged all national sport bodies and the Director of Sports Operations Lepale Niko Palamo and Taupau Alex Mikaele for putting together the 16 Pacific Games 2019 program.
SPORTS & VENUES
Archery – Faleata Sports Field
Athletics – Apia Park Stadium
Badminton – Multi-sport Centre
Basketball 5×5 – Gym 2 at Faleata
Basketball 3×3 – Gym 2 Faleata
Beach Volleyball – Apia Waterfront
Boxing – Don Bosco – Savai’i
Cricket – Cricket Oval, Faleata
Football – Football fields, Faleata.
Golf – Fagalii/Faleata Golf courses
Judo – Gym 2, Faleata
Lawn Bowls – Lawn Bowls Greens, Faleata.
Netball – Multisports Centre.
Powerlifting – Harvest Centre, Faleata
Rugby 7’s – Apia Park Stadium
Rugby League 9’s – Apia Park Stadium
Sailing – Mulinu’u Peninsula.
Shooting – Tafa’igata Shooting Range.
Squash – Squash Courts, Faleata.
Swimming – Aquatic Centre Faleata
Open Water Swimming – Faleasi’u.
Table Tennis – Harvest Centre, Faleata.
Taekwando – Gym 2, Faleata.
Tennis – Tennis Courts, Apia Park.
Touch Rugby – Faleata Sports Field.
Triathlon – Sogi Recreational Park.
Va’a (Sailing) – Mulinu’u Peninsula.
Volleyball – NUS Gym.
Weightlifting – Gym 2, Faleata.
Opening & Closing Ceremonies – Apia Park Stadium.