A send-off ceremony for the CNMI Team heading to Pohnpei for the 8th Micronesian Games took place yesterday at Kanoa Resort.
Gov. Eloy Inos led the well wishers for the CNMI delegation, while Tan Siu Lin Foundation threw in its support to the Commonwealth bets by donating $10,000 to athletes and officials. Each delegate gets $100 allowance from the foundation. Tan Holdings president Jerry Tan turned over the ceremonial check to Northern Marianas Sports Association and CNMI Team chef de mission Michael White yesterday with Inos witnessing the presentation.
“The foundation thought of ways to help the CNMI Team going to Pohnpei and we decided to give $100 not only to the athletes, but also to the officials. We hope this will somehow help each team’s fundraising efforts and we wish you do well in Pohnpei,” Tan said.
Inos also wishes a strong showing for the CNMI Team and encourages the delegation to start performing in Pohnpei in preparation for future tournaments that the Commonwealth will be hosting.
“Do your best in representing the CNMI in Pohnpei. Right now, CNMI sports is beginning to get some traction with us winning the hosting bid for the 2021 Pacific Mini Games, NMSA getting things done at the Oleai Sports Complex, and various teams competing off island. We’re making headways and I hope these will continue in Pohnpei and you will bring home medals,” Inos said.
For his part, White thanked both Inos, the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation, and the foundation for making it possible for CNMI to compete in eight events in the Micronesian Games—athletics, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, swimming, weightlifting, spearfishing, and canoe racing.
“Thank you to our lawmakers for passing a bill that appropriated $30,000 to us and helped us secure our airline seats and thank you to the governor for signing the bill into law. Then now, we have the TSL Foundation, extending help again to NMSA and the federations under it. Thank you for your generous donation and for doing a lot of good things for CNMI sports. Our athletes will definitely do their best in Pohnpei. We’re going to win medals left and right,” White said.
The CNMI finished second to Palau in the medal standings in the 2010 Micro Games after earning 44 gold medals, 23 silver, and 25 bronze. The 44 gold medals were the most the Commonwealth won far in the Games since its inception in 1968.
Meanwhile, Reps. Tony Sablan, Edmund Villagomez, and Richard Seman and all the eighth CNMI teams were present at the donation turnover and send-off ceremonies and the delegates expressed their appreciation to the foundation and its financial assistance.
“Wow. We never saw this coming and what a fortunate time to have this donation. We will be leaving in a few weeks and we’re still lacking funds. This is a very huge help to the team, especially to a big squad like baseball because we have more than 20 players and officials,” Saipan Baseball League president and NMSA secretary general Rose Igitol said. “We would like to thank the foundation and Jerry Tan for their continued commitment to CNMI sports.”
Ezra Caro and Dylan Ackerman, who are members of the CNMI basketball and athletics teams, respectively, said the donation eased the burden they been carrying for the past several months.
“Besides practicing, we’ve been going around, selling hot lunches and raffle tickets to help raise funds for the games in Pohnpei so this $100 helps a lot,” Caro said.
“Now we don’t have to worry a lot because we have added funds,” Ackerman said.
Teams have yet to decide where to use the donation, but if it will be for the per diem, each delegate can pay about half of the total cost, depending on the number of days they will be staying in Pohnpei. The local organizing committee is charging $30 per diem for each delegate.
The 8th Micronesian Games will be held from July 20 to 29.