Three Micronesians Appointed To Oceania Athletics Association

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CNMI Athletics Association wants better ties with Micronesia

By Jon Perez

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Feb. 17, 2015) – Northern Marianas Athletics secretary general Robin Sapong is hoping that the CNMI track and field association will develop stronger ties with its counterpart organizations in the Micronesia after he and two others from the region were elected to four-year terms in the Oceania Athletics Association council.

Sapong, Guam’s Jay Antonio, and Palau’s Piora Koshiba will be joining Trevor Spittle, Titaua Juventin-Maurin, and Matthew Mahon on the OAA council to be headed anew by president Geoff Gardner of Norfolk Island.

Sapong said three Micronesians elected on the council would not only be beneficial for the CNMI but also for the entire region.

"It would make networking much easier in Micronesia and the CNMI would benefit from it. It would also open the doors to other organizations in the region to have closer ties with OAA," said Sapong in an interview with the Saipan Tribune.

The Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, and Nauru are the other members of the Micronesian region aside from the CNMI, Guam, and Palau.

"It would get more island nations in Micronesia engaged in OAA affairs and strengthen ties in the region," added Sapong, who was given the OAA merit award for his more than 20 years of service in athletics.

Sapong said they are now looking forward for the 2016 Micronesian Championships, which will be hosted by the Federated States of Micronesia.

"We’re looking forward for FSM’s hosting of the regional championships. The OAA council is fully supporting the local organizing committee," said Sapong, who added that the CNMI would also bid for the 2017 edition.

"We’re going to make a strong bid since the Oleai track would be finished by then. Facilities and accommodation are the keys in hosting a good event."

Resurfacing of the Oleai track facility is set for March or once the contract is awarded to the winning bidder.

The Northern Marianas Sports Association, which is now tasked to maintain the facilities at the Oleai Sports Complex, would oversee the entire project to make sure the construction manager and off-island expert will do the work according to the standards set by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

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