Participation to 2019 Pacific Games costly

Each delegate to the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa may have to fork out between $2,500 and $3,000, according to the estimate of the Northern Marianas Sports Association.

“It will be costly, so start fundraising if you would want to make it to Samoa,” said NMSA president Michael White, adding that the costs cover airfare and per diem.

NMSA has yet to decide how much financial assistance it will give to each delegate, as the board will still have to meet to set the amount. In the past, NMSA shouldered half of the costs per delegate.

White also reminded federations that they have to make their own travel arrangement and just notify NMSA of their arrival and departure dates.

“You’re on your own as far as booking your trip is concerned. Charter flights are out of question,” White said.

Several airlines fly to Samoa, but flights are long ones. One is via United, Philippine Airlines, and Air New Zealand with stops in Guam, Manila, and Auckland for the nearly 23-hour trip. Two others flights will take over a day with stopovers: United/Japan Airlines/ Fiji Airways (with stops in Guam, Tokyo, and Nadi) and Sichuan Airlines/China Southern/Air New Zealand (via Guangzhou and Auckland). An online inquiry yesterday for airfare from Fiji Airways with departure date on July 4 and return on July 21 costs nearly $2,400 (lowest). This year’s Pacific Games will run from July 7 to 20.

Final competition schedule out
Meanwhile, the local organizing committee of the Pacific Games in Samoa has released the final competition schedule.

Only athletics, golf, weightlifting, canoe, rugby 7’s, tennis, basketball (3×3), and swimming have committed to send athletes to Apia.

Athletics will be played in the second week of the Games or from July 15 to 19. Basketball (3×3) is also set for Week 2, from July 17 to 20. Golf will take place from July 10 to 13, while tennis is spread in the two-weekend contest (from July 9 to 13 and July 15 to 19). Rugby 7’s has the shortest schedule—only on July 12 and 13—while canoe races will be held for four days (July 9 and 10 and July 12 and 13). Weightlifting is scheduled in the first week, from July 9 to 13, while swimming (including open water) will have its competition from July 8 to 13.

Other sports to be played in Apia are archery, badminton, 5×5 basketball, beach and indoor volleyball, boxing, cricket, judo, lawn bowls, football, powerlifting, rugby league 9’s, sailing, shooting, squash, table tennis, taekwondo, touch rugby, and triathlon.