THE first group of delegates representing their respective Pacific Games Associations (PGAs) throughout the South Pacific arrived in Port Moresby yesterday afternoon with the rest to arrive today.
And they are in for a specially laid out programme designed to melt their hearts in favour of PNG to host the 2015 Pacific Games.
Four of the delegates from Fiji, American Samoa and Niue were the first to touch down in Port Moresby yesterday.
Other delegates from Palau, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariannas, Norfolk Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Nauru, Cook Islands, Samoa and Tuvalu are expected to arrive in Port Moresby this afternoon.
The PGA delegates are here on an all-expenses paid trip not only to observe what PNG has to offer their PGAs in 2015, but to savour PNG’s hospitality as well, courtesy of the PNG 2015 Pacific Games Bid Committee headed by senior vice-present of the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee Mel Donald.
Each PGA is entitled to a vote at the Pacific Games general assembly and the Donald committee wants that vote.
According to reports, the committee has spent over half a million kina to invite the delegation rather than sending a five-member bid delegation to each of the respective PGAs throughout the South Pacific to woo their votes for next month’s PGA general assembly in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
Other than the traditional welcome reception at the airport for the arrival of the last PGA delegates at 4pm today, the three-day programme will officially kick off with a welcome reception at the Lamana Hotel.The delegates will, over the next couple of days, get to see and hear what PNG have to offer in 2015, and tour all proposed sports venues and facilities for development and upgrading under the National Government’s multi-million kina commitment towards the games, should PNG be successful in its bid.
The PNG 2015 Bid Committee has called in all available resources available to present a strong case and are all set to make this three-day programme for the visitors, worth their while.
Donald is confident of leaving ‘no stones unturned’to ensure the PGA delegates’ votes swing PNG’s way.
The welcome reception tonight will culminate in a fireworks display that would signal the start of three days of intensive, but sure to be enjoyable, lobbying.
PNG had earlier hosted a two-man high powered Pacific Games Council (PGC) delegation to assess PNG’s bid for 2015 Pacific Games.
Team leader and the Pacific Games Council chairman Vidhya Lakhan said recently that he and his executive officer Andrew Minogue were basically going through the process visiting three of the Pacific Games Associations bidding for the 2015 Games.
Already, Tahiti has given their support to back PNG’s bid.
Tonga and Solomon Islands are the other two PGAs bidding for the 2015 Pacific Games.