MEMBERS of the local organizing committee tasked to prepare CNMI’s track and field facility for coming the 2008 Oceania Under 18 and Open Area Championships and 2008 Oceania Grand Prix Series have given themselves a deadline to get the confirmed schedules of arrivals of the delegates, which they want to be earlier.

This is very important, says committee chairman Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb, because there are a lot of things to consider when accommodating the participants and visitors for the two Oceania tournaments which the CNMI is hosting from June 21 to 28 at the Oleai Track and Field in Susupe Sports Complex.

Tebuteb said they are expecting 300 athletics to compete in the weeklong event.  Almost all the 19 members of the Oceania Athletics Association are sending delegates, the number of which will exceed that being paid for by the OAA.

The OAA is paying the travel and accommodation expenses of eight athletes and one official only per country.  The OAA however informed the NMI organizing committee that most of the member federations are sending much more than that, and the member federations will be paying for the rest of the cost.

The New Zealand federation the committee said will send 60 athletes, which means it is willing to shoulder 51 others who also want to see action in NMI tournaments.

Joining the host CNMI in the Oceania tournaments are powerhouse teams Australia and New Zealand and the other OAA member federations, American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga and Vanuatu.

In an interview yesterday, Tebuteb said they are having a teleconference with OAA anytime this week to narrow down the specific schedules of separate arrivals at least a month prior to June 21.

At the same time, the organizing committee is now coordinating the schedules with hotels which they have identified to provide rooms for the athletic visitors. The Saipan Grand Hotel in Susupe, the Aquarius and Chalan Kanoa Beach Hotels in Chalan Kanoa will be the visitors’ home for two weeks, perhaps, they may stay a little bit longer.

“What we’re trying to prevent here,” says Tebuteb, “is seeing ourselves caught unprepared for sudden changes.”

So they want to anticipate any “last minute challenges” which could a sudden change in schedule of arrival or something else.

When things go wrong with regards to reservations for example would be costly on the part of the hotel and the committee. So it really requires convenient amount of time to prepare for all this, he said.

Tebuteb assured that by the end of April, the committee should have ironed out the schedules.

The CNMI will host the Oceania tournaments for the first time and the government through the Marianas Visitors Authority and Department of Public Safety is supporting the organizing committee.

By the end of May, the committee said “everything should be in place.”

By Emmanuel T. Erediano
Marianas Variety News Staff


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