The two remaining provinces Malampa and Torba are set now to receive the visit of the Games Mascot this month, as the countdown reaches 62 days (Monday 2nd October) before December 4.

Nasi started to reach out to the islands in May by starting his monthly community visits in the province of Shefa, followed by Tafea, then Sanma, then to Penama province last month.

This week the Team is to depart with Okeanos, a traditional canoe, to travel from Port Vila to Malampa Province, where its route will start from the Island of Paama, later to Ambrym and end its journey in Malekula. They will visit around sixty schools from Year 1 -6, where Nasi will bring to more than 5000 pupils the spirit of the Pacific Mini Games, as well as encouraging them to share the important practices of key messages on Clean Environment, Healthy Lifestyle, Be a Champion.

Van2017 also wishes to acknowledge the funding support from VASANOC with an amount of VT500,000 for the Mascot Team to reach its three destinations in Malampa Province.

The Mascot Team is composed of a handler, Nasi, and Nasi ‘s Apu – together they will be doing awareness on what is the Pacific Mini Games, its participants, its sports, and what Van2017 is doing now in terms of planning and coordination to deliver the Games.

As part of the Games promotions, stickers, tattoos, hand bands and flags will also be hand delivered to all school children in the province; and it is also planned for the Team in Malekula to distribute vehicle stickers to drivers at Lakatoro Centre.

The journey of 11 days in Malampa province is part of Van2017’s plan to reach out to all islands in the archipelago, to let people know that Vanuatu is going to host the biggest major sporting event ever held on their home soil, for a period of two weeks in December.

Van2017 encourages people in the islands to take a time off to witness and join in the sport celebration where they can all watch elite sportspeople from around the Pacific who will be in Port Vila to compete in the Games. Sport will not only the main highlight, but other social activities will also complement the sport competitions, such as Fes Napuan, the Queen’s Baton Relay and more.

October is the last month for the Mascot Team to finish off its community awareness program and they thanked the Australian High Commission which funded the trip to Torba to the tune of AUS$7500, the equivalent of over Vt

Over 5400 pupils in Malampa communities are to meet Games mascot NASI anc SAGOA this week 635,000.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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