THE President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, and CEO, Andrew Minogue, have completed a three-day evaluation visit to Samoa, one of three countries who have expressed their interest in hosting the 2019 Pacific Games. The evaluation visit included the following elements:
- Meeting with President Patrick Fepuleai and Executive Board of Samoa’s Pacific Games
Association (SASNOC) to whom the Games would be entrusted if Samoa is successful;
- Meeting with the Samoan Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, together with the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Sport, whose Government has agreed to fully support and financially underwrite Samoa’s hosting of the Games;
- Meeting with the Presidents and delegates of the sports proposed for the 2019 program;
- Tour of all the proposed competition venues and schools to house the athletes;
- Meeting with the Attorney-General to obtain approval for the draft Host Contract, which would, in the event Samoa is successful, be signed by the PGC President, the SASNOC President and the Samoan Prime Minister;
- Meetings with several business CEOs whose companies have a regional profile;
- and A full media conference at the conclusion of the visit.
The PGC delegation was very impressed with all of the elements of the evaluation visit, including the sporting facilities which have been well maintained since Samoa’s hosting of the 2007 South
Pacific Games and 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games, and now only require a minimal level of refurbishment to be ready to host the Pacific Games in 2019.
These relatively recent major Games also mean that Samoa’s sports federations have the degree of competence and experience necessary to deliver a large scale event like the 2019 Pacific Games in a short space of time.
Lakhan said “Samoa has presented a very strong expression of interest to host the 2019
Pacific Games and has demonstrated during our visit that they have the facilities and capability required to deliver a successful Games in a short space of time. The full and financial support of the Samoan Government adds the vital component of stability and certainty that the PGC is seeking in the wake of the Tongan government’s withdrawal as Games host”.
From here, the President and CEO travel to Port Vila for a meeting of the Chefs de Mission for this December’s Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu, before the 2019 evaluation process resumes next week to consider expressions of interest from Guam and Tahiti.
The PGC Executive Board remains committed to completing the evaluation process this month and announcing the 2019 Pacific Games host at the start of September.