29 Sep 2017

Sport: Mini Games organisers focused on 'finer details'

4:01 pm on 29 September 2017

Organisers of the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu say the big picture is on track and, with little over two months until the start of competition, it's now about sorting out the finer details.

The main test event will be held on 25 November, where all functional areas and Games services will be fully operational, nine days before the opening ceremony on 4 December.

Van2017 CEO Clint Flood

Van2017 CEO Clint Flood Photo: Van2017

Van2017 CEO Clint Flood said, despite one last-minute change, progress on the main competition venues has been "outstanding".

"The People's Republic of China, through their aid programme to Vanuatu and their contractor, are very close to handing over the project now at Korman, which is main complex - 12 out of our 14 sports are there," he said.

"The handover date now is fixed, it's going to be October 28th, so we're very confident that everything is on track there.

"Epauto - which is where the weighlifting is - we needed to change that but it's nearing completion. The project's being done by the Seventh Day Adventist church and they're working in partnership to make sure that venue is done.

"Honestly the venues are the least of our concern right now. They were for some time but the contractors have done an amazing job and we got through the weather window.

"Now we want to make sure there's some rain to get the grass going a little bit better and then stop mid-November and then after the Games it can fill up the dams again but we need to make sure that, hopefully for a month, we get dry weather but overall we're in fantastic shape with the venues."

Volunteer Team Leaders attend a training session in Port Vila.

Volunteer Team Leaders attend a training session in Port Vila. Photo: Supplied/Van2017

Eighty one Volunteer Team Leaders attended a training session this week in Port Vila to get up to speed on areas including venues, villages, transport, technolody, medics, accreditation, security and and ticketing.

Clint Flood said the volunteers would provide a crucial link with the public.

"It's 2000 volunteers that are really the face of the Games," he said.

"They're the ones that check the ticket, fill out the accreditation cards, they're ones making sure our cars get parked, they're the ones making sure our workforce get their meals etc.

"Yes, while we put the big picture in place, without these people doing that work the system would fall apart."

Clint Flood said the first wave of competitors will start arriving at the end of November.

"The chefs are coming a little bit earlier and the teams start to arrive en-masse on the 29th and 30th," he said.

"Our training venues open on the third because...yes while the opening ceremonies are important some of those athletes won't actually do their competition for another ten days afterwards.

"So we need to make sure the training venues are there and the equipment is there so they can compete at their best when the gun goes off for them."

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