Samoa hold traditional welcome ceremony to open ONOC meetings

June 12, 2018

Samoan chiefs were central to the ceremony, which was seen as a sign of respect to special guests from abroad.

Speakers replied to represent the delegates present from each of the NOCs attending the meetings this week.

The ʻAva Ceremony saw key members of the ONOC drink a beverage, which is made from the dried roots of a kava plant and mixed with water.

ONOC President Robin Mitchell and secretary general Ricardo Blas were among those to participate in the ceremony.

SASANOC President Patrick Fepuleai also participated and welcomed sporting officials to Samoa.

He looked forward to the 2019 Pacific Games, which will be hosted in Apia.

"On behalf of SASANOC I would like to welcome you all here to Samoa," Fepuleai said.

"I know planning these meetings is quite an undertaking so I would like to thank the ONOC team for dealing with all the logistics.

"Looking at the programme I see that this week will be a very full week of workshops, along with our ONOC Annual General Meeting on Saturday.

"As you are aware next year we play host to the Pacific Games.

"It is quite a challenge given that we have two years to prepare.

"We are confident that with the team we have put together we can host successful Games.

"We learn something new every day and I believe all these meetings will benefit our NOCs and I trust there will be fruitful discussions and debate.

"Ultimately for us as administrators, I hope the meetings help us to better serve our athletes."

Samoa were awarded the Games in December as a replacement for Tonga, whose Government withdrew from hosting due to financial concerns.

ONOC President Robin Mitchell stated that the organisation would do all it could to help Samoa run a successful event.

"We will all work together to assist Samoa in their preparations for the Games," he said.

"Thank you very much for the traditional ceremony that welcomed us.

"You have a lot of work to do in the next year.

"On behalf of ONOC, all of us will assist you in whatever way we can to make sure the Games are successful."




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