28 Sep 2017

Sport: Samoa steps up preparations for 2019 Pac Games

2:27 pm on 28 September 2017

The Pacific Games Association of Samoa says it intends to appoint an Organising Committee for the 2019 Pacific Games as soon as possible.

Samoa was announced as the Games host four weeks ago, after Tonga pulled out in July, citing financial concerns.

President of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, Patrick Fepuleai, said a lot needs to be achieved in a short space of time.

"We need to get our organising committee in place and with that we need a secretariat to help carry this out - these are the people that would be working full-time to help us deliver the Games," he said.

"We need to appoint somebody to head that secretariat like a CEO so we need to get legislation in place to not only recognise but also incentive for our sponsors, so these things we did previously for the Pacific Games when we hosted in 2007 so the templates are all there.

"The only issue here is we have such a short turnaround time to do all this - it's actually less than two years because it's July 2019 when we are proposing to have the Games."

From left to right, President of the Pacific Games Council Vidhya Lakhan, Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and SASNOC President Patrick Fepuleai.

From left to right, President of the Pacific Games Council Vidhya Lakhan, Samoa's prime minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and SASNOC President Patrick Fepuleai. Photo: Pacific Games Council

Patrick Fepuleai said Samoa has budgeted just over $US16 million to run the Pacific Games but that figure could change.

"We submitted an amount in our bid to run the Games, not only to repair some of the facilities that we need to repair," he said.

"The Games Operations side we submitted a bid of about 40 million Tala so that's basically what our budget is.

"We might need to revisit that at some stage with the Pacific Games Council but that's basically what we submitted in our bid.

"It's a lot of money involved but at the same time I think as a party to this need to sell the Games, get sponsors on board to help alleviate these costs."

Patrick Fepuleai said the Pacific Games Council had given SASNOC certain tasks to achieve and deadlines to meet with just 21 months until the Games are scheduled to begin.

"I think now it's time for us and Government to get our act together and start doing some of these things that we need to have in place."

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