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SAIPAN-  APRIL 20,2021: 1pm (SAIPAN TRIBUNE/PACNEWS): With the inclusion of tennis, weightlifting, and va’a to the sports program of the 2022 Pacific Mini Games, the CNMI can expect to host over 800 athletes for the quadrennial event, according to Pacific Mini Games 2022 Organising Committee chair Marco Peter.

“The addition of the three sports to the 2022 Mini Games is a testament of the commitment between the Pacific Games Council and the CNMI to make it a successful event. The addition of the three sports boosts the number of athletes to over 800,” he said in an email to Saipan Tribune.

Peter also hinted that the Pacific Mini Games 2022 Organizing Committee picking seven outdoor sports for next year’s Mini Games came as no accident.

“Seven of the games will be competing outdoors, as these events were strategically chosen to minimize what would have been a required investment in infrastructure built or renovations. As I experienced the Pacific Games in Western Samoa in 2019 (which is on a larger scale), I believe that we have the resources available to execute a successful hosting in 2022. The CNMI and the 2022 Games Organising Committee thanks CEO Andrew Minogue and the Pacific Games Council for their continued partnership and guidance as we prepare for the upcoming games,” he added.

The outdoor sports slated for the 11th staging of the Mini Games are athletics, baseball, beach volleyball, golf, triathlon, tennis, and va’a, leaving weightlifting and badminton as the only indoor sports.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Games Council has pledged to fund 12 athlete per diems (US$450 each) for each of the 24 participating nations, an unprecedented support programme worth US$130,000.

Pacific Mini Games 2022 chief executive officer Ben Babauta is also enthusiastic with the CNMI’s hosting of the quadrennial event following the addition of the three sports.

 

“We’re excited for the expansion of events for the Pacific Mini Games 2022 as it will allow a broader range of athletes to participate. It’s especially fitting to include outrigger canoe as part of our Pacific Island heritage,” he said. “We are also very grateful to the Pacific Games Council for their pledged financial support toward athlete per diems, and we know many countries will also welcome this assistance in sending athletes to the Mini Games.”

 

The Northern Marianas has pledged US$4 million to host the Mini Games, a multi-sport event governed by the Pacific Games Council as a scaled-down version of the Pacific Games, held every alternating four years…..PACNEWS

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