Start date for 2017 Mini Games in Vanuatu pushed back
The 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu will now start later that originally planned.
The start date for the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu has been pushed back by three months amidst on-going delays.
Construction work has yet to begin on the main Korman site in Port Vila, 10 months after Cyclone Pam caused widespread damage.
The CEO of the 2017 Mini Games, Joe Carlo, told Vinnie Wylie everything has been in a holding pattern until Vanuatu's national election is out of the way.
JOE CARLO: So hopefully after Friday with the government formation it will be able to pave the way for us to move forward on the event and the project.
VINNIE WYLIE: So what is it you're waiting for from the government: do you need approval from them to sign things off, do you need money from them to pay for the works being built?
JC: The Chinese government has kindly offered to provide aid assistance, taking up most of the construction of the facilities. That's the main stadium - outdoor and indoor - beach volleyball courts, the tennis courts, a cricket pitch and the archery - those are the constructions that are going on in the main stadium area and the Korman Stadium site. The other stadiums exisiting...that were damaged by the cyclone will be undertaken by the government through other sources of funding. That's in the pipeline again, dependant on the government change coming up when this will be able to put us in the clear.
VW: Do you have a sort of ballpark date when you thing construction on venues is actually going to resume?
JC: No, that's not been finalised as yet.That's going to be coming from the Chinese so we're talking to them following the outcome of what happens on Friday.
VW: Do you speak to the Chinese alongside the government?
JC: Yes. Well the Chinese are very cooperative with us so we will be talking to them so it's a more an open discussion rather than just a ballpark figure.
VW: The Chinese obviously have workers in Vanuatu at the moment, having just completed the convention centre, so there are staff in town that will be able to start soon.
JC: Certainly. They've been saying that it should be completed by mid 2017 with the Games now going to be held in early December 2017.
VW: Which would allow you maybe a bit more breathing space?
JC: Yep. We were supposed to host the event in September but somehow the Oceania Football and FIFA locked-down most of the month of December would you believe all for soccer tournaments in the region so that has closed up the gap for sporting events such as the Mini Games taking place in mid-year 2017. The Games are planned now for December 2017 - it's going to have to be early December and closing by mid December 2017.
VW: Does that timeframe work for other countries in the region?
JC: 1993 we hosted the Games in December. It went well. We would normally have a few cyclones down then but this time rounds there's been no sign of them - the weather has been warm and it's been sunny. It's going to be a concern with tourists as well because this is the tourist peak air period in Vanuatu but we hope to be able to cope well with the event here in that time of the year.
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