Samoa Ready To Host Commonwealth Youth Games

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With 2 weeks to go, preparations on track for opening

By Deidre Fanene

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Aug. 22, 2015) – Two weeks away from the Commonwealth Youth Games, the man responsible for getting Samoa ready to welcome the Commonwealth is confident.

The Coordinator of the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games, Vitolio Lui, has declared that Samoa is ready for the task. "Yes (we are ready)," he told the Weekend Observer.

"The renovation and preparation of facilities are pretty much completed or for completion next week. The funds made available by government is sufficient for our needs in the next four weeks."

Come the opening of the games, some 994 athletes plus officials and other delegates will be in the country. They will be vying for 107 Gold Medals in nine sports over seven days.

The action takes place across two sporting complexes that will play host to Aquatics (Swimming), Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Lawn Bowls, Rugby Sevens, Squash, Tennis and Weightlifting.

As for preparations for the event, Mr. Lui said there have been some challenges but nothing that cannot be overcome.

"Very well considering the resources available to us and Samoa both human and financial," he said.

"There's still lots to do between now and the 3rd Sept when teams start arriving, the Opening on 5 September and when competition starts on the 7th Sept."

Asked about the programme of the event, he said a detailed programme was made available for all participating countries since April this year.

"The detailed sports programme for each of the 9 sports had been available to all participating countries of the Commonwealth since April this year to help with team's preparations and the 2nd and latest version of all 9 sports had recently been sent out progressively over the past month.

"A special manual or guide for Team Leaders had also been produced and distributed to members but the programme for the Opening & Closing ceremonies is being finalized."

The Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, will open the Games. Sixty eight countries will be taking part.

Mr. Lui said the athletes would be spread out over three different locations, Samoa College, Pesega College and the rest in 26 hotels around the town area.

Mr. Lui also credited positive attitude of his team and the country.

"There were many challenges," he said. "But all can be surmounted with self-belief (from the) government, business sector and the community at large all working together in the Samoan can-do attitude and lots and lots of hard work."

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