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White hopes to send large delegation for 2011 Games

Unlike the 2007 Pacific Games in Samoa, the Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association hopes to send a large contingent to the 2011 edition of the quadrennial event in New Caledonia.

NMASA president Michael A. White in a email to the Saipan Tribune noted that the CNMI stands a good chance to better the five-team delegation it sent to Apia last year in the Noumea Games three years from now.

“Cost is always a factor. However, travel and per diem costs for the Noumea Games will be significantly less than they were for Samoa in 2007 or the Cook Islands next year, so I am hopeful that we will be able to send a large delegation to represent the CNMI,” he said.

In the 2007 Pacific Games in Apia, the CNMI sent five athletes-Tyrone Omar of athletics and beach volleyball players Mark McDonald, Tyce Mister, Nina Mosley, and Melissa Hallaby.

During the last Nov. 19 briefing made by NC2011 president Pascale Bastien-Thiry, NC2011 protocol director Helen Court Wabete, and Pacific Games Council secretary general David Boyd, White also said that the New Caledonia organizing committee may also help the CNMI out by enlisting its flag carrier, Air Caledonie, to arrange charter flights to the region.

The Commonwealth sports body's head also extended his thanks to Bastien-Thiry, Wabete, and Boyd for flying all to way to the North Pacific to discuss their plans for the 2011 Pacific Games not only with NMASA but also to the sports governing bodies of Guam and Palau as well.

“I was very pleased that officials of NC2011 took the time and expense of traveling all the way to the CNMI to brief us on preparations for the 2011 Pacific Games. New Caledonia has shown that it has the capability and will to put on a truly outstanding event,” he said.

NC2011 will organize 12 compulsory sports in the 2011 Games, namely athletics, weightlifting, swimming, basketball, table tennis, soccer, tennis, rugby, golf, vaa, volleyball, and badminton.

In addition, NC2011 will also host 18 optional sports that would be determined by the number of entries.

NC2011 expects all 22 countries of the Pacific Games Council to take part in the Games. It also looks forward to hosting 3,500 athletes-5,000 including officials-in three years time.

The organizing committee is also prepared to spend about $16 million for the hosting of the Games. That price tag does not include the construction of 38 venues and sporting facilities for the 15 days of competition.
(Saipan Tribune)

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