NMASA, which had earlier made a bid for the 2017 Mini Games in 2011 but lost to Vanuatu, submitted its letter of intent to Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan on Sept. 8 during a Council meeting in Wallis & Futuna.

“Pursuant to the provisions of Protocol 1.3 of the Games Management Protocols as set forth in the Pacific Games Charter, the Northern Marians Amateur Sports Association, on behalf of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, hereby advises that it intends to submit a bid to host the 2021 Pacific Mini Games,” NMASA president Michael White stated in the letter.

The letter also mentioned that the CNMI is proposing 14 sports: athletics, football, golf, swimming, tennis, canoe, beach volleyball, baseball, weightlifting, sailing, triathlon, wrestling, indoor volleyball, and badminton.

As for the facilities, White assured the Council that the CNMI has them in place and ready for use, while NMASA will soon coordinate with other stakeholders to ensure that transportation, accommodation, safety, and security of all delegates will be taken care of.

White also officially announced the CNMI’s intent to bid during the NMASA meeting last Thursday at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium. He said a committee will be formed next year to formulate and present the CNMI’s hosting bid.

The NMASA head added that clarifications on immigration issues will also be prioritized to help the CNMI succeed in its bid. Athletes from several countries in the Pacific are not currently eligible for a US visa waiver, and will need a US visa to enter the CNMI.  Obtaining a visa can be an expensive and lengthy process. NMASA will be looking into details on how to secure a visa exemption for athletes and ofnicials joining the sports competition.

In its unsuccessful bid in 2011, immigration issues were believed to be one of the factors that affected the outcome.  As for the facilities, the CNMI received a good grade when Lakhan and Council Executive Director Andrew Minogue visited the Susupe Sports Complex, Marianas High School, and other venues on Saipan late in June.

By Roselyn Monroyo
Reporter, Saipan Tribune 


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