16 Dec 2022

Games federation in Niue to try to solve dispute

12:23 pm on 16 December 2022
The Queen's Baton Relay in Niue

The Queen's Baton Relay in Niue Photo: Official Commonwealth Games website

Two members of the Commonwealth Games Federation are in Niue to attempt to deal with a dispute among the sporting community.

Hugh Graham is the Oceania Representative on the Commonwealth Games Federation Board, and Richard de Groen is the Development Director from the Commonwealth Management team.

Television Niue reports that in the lead-up to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August, the Niue Commonwealth Games Association (NISCGA) was embroiled in legal disputes with Niue Lawn Bowls that went as far as the Niue High Court, over the selection of the lawn bowls team to the games.

This led to an impasse between the national sports body and its members which led to the suspension of three sports codes - weightlifting, archery and lawn bowls.

The broadcaster said this led to accusations and name-calling on social media.

Graham explained the reason for their visit is not to conduct an investigation but to assist.

"I want to clarify, that we are here not to do any investigations. We are here to assist our member, which is NISCGA, but also to talk to their members if they wish so they can get clarity on issues or concerns that they may have."

Graham said that they are aware of the situation, which is not unusual in small sporting communities, recalling challenges they faced previously in the Cook Islands. But he said it was important to get everyone around the table.