Pacific Games: Confidence in Samoa 2019 despite time constraints

Vidhya Lakhan has expressed his confidence in Samoa 2019 to host a successful Pacific Games. Picture: PACIFIC GAMES COUNCIL

APIA, 18 JUNE 2018 (INSIDE THE GAMES)—Pacific Games Council (PGC) President Vidhya Lakhan has claimed he has great “confidence and faith” in Samoa 2019, despite time being against organisers of next year’s event.

Lakhan was speaking as Samoa 2019 revealed their logo for the Games.

He offered his thanks to the Samoan Government for supporting the country’s bid for the Games last year.

They launched a bid for the Games following the withdrawal of Tonga by the country’s Government, who cited financial concerns as being behind their decision.

Samoa were one of three countries to put themselves forward as a possible replacement, along with Guam and Tahiti.

They were awarded the Games officially in December following an evaluation and site visit to each candidate.

With the Games only a year away, the PGC President claimed that, despite the time pressures, they were confident in Samoa’s ability to host a successful event.

“Time is against us all,” Lakhan said.

“Once the Games is granted the host nation usually has seven years to prepare, but you have had less than two years.

“We have got faith and confidence in the Samoans when it comes to delivering Games.

“Many of us remember the 2007 Pacific Games and you recently held the Commonwealth Youth Games very successfully.

“You have the expertise, you have the facilities and if there was anyone in the Pacific we believe could host these Games at short notice, it is Samoa.”

Lakhan praised legislation put in place by the Samoan Government in preparation for the Games.

He also vowed that the PGC would seek to provide any support it could to help organisers.

“We are all in the same boat,” Lakhan added.

“Like the Samoans we want a very successful Games in 2019.

“We will stand by you and provide you with any advice and guidance you need.

“You and I need the same result, a very successful 2019 Games.”

Samoa 2019 chief executive Falefata Hele Matatia has acknowledged the Organising Committee faced challenges, due to the time pressure.

He insisted that they were seeking innovative solutions to ensure the Games would be run smoothly and claimed Samoa was ready for the challenge.

Organisers unveiled their logo for the Games yesterday but are set to provide further details of their plans at the PGC General Assembly here tomorrow.

“Time is one of our biggest challenges,” Matatia said.

“Every task you bring to Samoa, we are ready for the challenge.

“We will take it with both hands.

“We are ready to rock and roll.

“We are excited to be welcoming you all here next year.”