The official Pacific Games 2019 Sports programme was released in a press conference at Tuina’imato Sports complex yesterday.
The two-week schedule covering 26 sports and their confirmed location and venue was launched as well as introducing the Technical team from China who will be assisting the Pacific Games Committee with their expertise and resources.
One stand out feature on the schedule is the staging of boxing in Savai’i during the second week of the Pacific Games. As a popular and compulsory sport for the competition, the expected turnout alone of athletes and officials will be more than 200. The confirmed venue is the Don Bosco School hall.
Pacific Games C.E.O., Falefata Hele Matatia told the Weekend Observer that it was exciting to finally be able to launch the competition schedule.
“Everything is going to plan,” he said. “We are excited about the launch of the sports programme because it’s not easy to build this, especially with the timeframe we were given and also the whole engagement with the 26 sports.
It’s a one on one individual process so getting the dates right and the venues ready that was a lot of to and fro with the directors.”
Falefata explained that Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C.) is underway with their plans to prepare Team Samoa and national sports federations have begun work to select representative squads for the Pacific Games.
“There is a Chinese technical team here to assist the S.A.S.N.O.C. team with preparations, the sports equipment required for the Games. Most importantly they will be looking at the national federations and organising transport for all the athletes and sports personnel.
There will also be some support with training some games officials.”
According to the schedule, 10 venues have been confirmed to host the sports events and renovations will begin on the venues to ensure they are Game-ready for next year.
According to Falefata, financial aid will be provided by the Chinese Government and the site for the new Multi-Sport Complex the Aquatic Centre, Apia Park and tennis courts will be handed over to the Government of the People’s Republic of China on September 3.
All remaining venues will be upgraded by the Government of Samoa and led by the Office of the Pacific Games and all works are due to be completed in late May 2019.
Falefata said they have not finalised a plan yet for “Going Green”, but that it is a major goal for them to implement and there will be challenges,
“Of course it’s not cheap to go plastic free,” he said.
“But if we go green and plastic free, it will be the first Games to do that so that is a big milestone for us and it’s a big task. We’ve reached out to M.N.R.E. and we are going to start having our discussions about waste management. Of course our hope is to go plastic free, adhere and support government’s planned policy.”