13 Jul 2019

Sport: CNMI govt commits to funding 2021 Mini Games

8:45 am on 13 July 2019

The Northern Marianas are pressing ahead with plans to host the 2021 Pacific Mini Games after the government confirmed their support.

The CNMI originally withdrew from hosting the Games in March after Super Typhoon Yutu devastated Saipan and Tinian.

CNMI Governor Ralph Torres

CNMI Governor Ralph Torres Photo: CNMI Govt

But after meeting with the Pacific Games Council, Governor Ralph Torres had a change of heart and the government confirmed last week it has budgeted three million US dollars towards hosting a scaled-back version of the Games featuring six to eight sports.

President of the Northern Marianas Sports Association, Michael White, is thankful that a compromise was able to be reached.

"We really are relieved. I want to say I never had a doubt but I always thought that we would come through one way or another and I'm very pleased that the Governor has agreed to fund the Games."

Michael White said all the CNMI needs to be able to host the Mini Games is toilets and showers for Games Village and bunk beds for the athletes.

President of the Northern Marianas Sports Association, Michael White.

President of the Northern Marianas Sports Association, Michael White. Photo: Vinnie Wylie/RNZ Pacific

"One we get those squared away I think we will be in pretty good shape as far as organising the Games. We have all of the facilities that we need - some of them suffered some cosmetic damage during the storm but those will be easily prepared in time for the Games."

The Northern Marianas Sports Association will present an update to the Pacific Games Council's General Assembly on Sunday.

Michael White said the message to fellow members is that the Games are on and the CNMI will be ready.

"Typhoons are a fact of life here in the Pacific. It's the price you pay for living in paradise, you get the occasional typhoon. We will triumph - we're Marianas strong."