7 Jul 2003

Claims the South Pacific Games are growing too big

6:52 am on 7 July 2003

Concern is reported to be growing that the South Pacific Games may be becoming too big for most regional countries to host.

The current South Pacific Games, now under way in Suva, have brought together more than four thousand competitors and officials from 22 countries.

The Fiji games are costing at least 31 million US dollars comprising sporting facilities given by China, money from the Fiji government, corporate sponsorship of seven million dollars and Suva City Council upgrading worth 3 million.

A long time games observer and athletics statistician, Bob Snow, has told the Sunday Times that the games have become a very big and grand sporting event with many countries using them to make political statements.

The next games will be held in Samoa and already that country is reported to be saying that they will host a much bigger and better event than the current one in Fiji.

Mr Snow says it is time to rethink the Games mission and concentrate on making them more athlete oriented rather than facility oriented.