Team CNMI’s small delegation to the 2017 Pacific Mini Games became smaller after the Commonwealth’s golfers pulled out from the quadrennial event.
Refaluwasch Golf Association’s Tony Rogolifoi announced at the Northern Marianas Sports Association meeting this month that they will not be fielding a team for the Mini Games, which will be held in Port Vila, Vanuatu from Dec. 2 to 14 next year, due to the unavailability of the players.
With the golfers out, the CNMI will only compete in athletics and rugby 7s. Northern Marianas Athletics before the November deadline for submission of numerical entries said it will bring a four-person squad, plus a coach to Vanuatu, while rugby 7s is allowed to have a maximum of 12 players plus coaches/officials.
Besides athletics, rugby 7’s, and golf, other sports lined up in next year’s competition are volleyball (indoor and beach), soccer, tennis, weightlifting, archery, cricket, boxing, judo, karate, netball, and table tennis.
All the 22-member nations of the Pacific Games Council were given until early this month to submit their numerical entries, but at press time the council has yet to announce how many will be participating in the Games.
Meanwhile, Pacific Games Council chief executive officer Andrew Minogue was in Vanuatu last Dec. 8 and 9 to address issues affecting the preparation for the competition, especially funding for the event. The council CEO met with key government officials of Vanuatu, Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, and VAN2017 Organizing Committee and after a series of discussions, an instrument was rectified to allow the immediate resumption of the flow of funds from the Vanuatu government to the organizing committee.
Minogue, in a press release sent to Saipan Tribune, reminded the host nation that withholding the funds to VAN2017 is a violation of the Games Host Agreement and could lead to the non-staging of the Games in Vanuatu. He added that the council will closely monitor the resumption of the release of funds for the event.