2 Aug 2013

Sport: Organisers say Pacific Mini Games on track

6:20 pm on 2 August 2013

The Executive Director of the Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna, Eddy Filipponi, says preparations are on track a month out from the opening ceremony.

809 athletes from 20 countries and territories will contest the ninth edition of the Mini Games, which get underway on the September the 2nd.

Eddy Filipponi told Vinnie Wylie that Wallis and Futuna will be ready.

EDDY FILIPPONI: The different venues will be delivered within the next three weeks so just in time for the Mini Games. We've got assurance from the administration for that. All the sports equipment came and is now stored. All the food supplies are about to reach the territory by sea and the whole territory - the administration, politicians and the sport movement. The entire Wallis and Futuna population is eager to welcome their brothers and sisters from the Pacific and let them discover the territory.

VINNIE WYLIE: And what has been one of the biggest challenges or perhaps there are more than one in the organisation of this event.

EF: It's a first for the territory so the challenges are several. The biggest challenge for this Mini Games is first in terms of venues. It took the territory to provide sports venues suitable for this kind of major competition it was the biggest challenge. After that it's also a financial challenge and as such the French state and the territory of Wallis and Futuna have raised significant funds to ensure the success of this historic project. After that it was also logistics because we are quite isolated from the rest of the Pacific and it's a real balancing act to equip this territory and prepare to receive 1,500 people in the space of a fortnight and it was necessary for us to establish all the orders well in advance to ensure the delivering time.

VW: And what legacy do you hope that the Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna will have?

EF: The fact that the local sport movement can now evolve with high performance sports facilities, the staging of such and organisation, can only be beneficial for the entire population. In the coming years all the sports or controlled events you know and will be it's gain because Wallis and Futuna can prove its capacity to receive this kind of event and it certainly opens the door for future collaboration with other islands in the area. Also these kinds of events are a real accelerator for the local economy. Our world class sports venues, the fact that they were performed by a company of the territory and finally think that the major legacy of this event will not necessarily be visible it's what will remain in the deepest of each of Wallis and Futunian people we mark our existence and I'm sure that it will be told for the next generation as a real pride.