The Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (SASNOC) will back the Pacific Games to the tune of T$1.5 million, formalised yesterday with a ceremonial signing between the organisations.
Describing the signing as “one of the most important milestones” for the Pacific Games, chief executive officer Falefata Hele Mataia said the collaboration is important for Samoa’s athletes.
“This is us showing our collaboration and working together with SASNOC to ensure that our athletes are well looked after, and they get the right support they need for the preparations for the game,” he said.
The agreement includes the Pacific Games office financially supporting the 500 strong Team Samoa, like offering them a per diem (daily allowance) and providing their sporting outfits.
SASNOC president Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai said as the host of the Pacific Games, Samoa is entitled to participate in all the sporting competitions, and is taking full advantage.
“I guess that is one of the perks of being host, so we have quite a large number of team players. Outfitting a lot of people won’t be cheap,” he said.
The Pacific Games Office also has the rights of association with Team Samoa for sales and marketing towards the games.
Fepuleai said making sure the agreement was perfect took time, and the signing was slightly delayed over the Christmas and New Year break. But he is happy to see the papers finalised.
“It took some time to get it sorted out and the memorandum of understanding needed the endorsement of the Executive Committee,” he explained.
“We got the endorsement last year and today we get to sign it off on it, so I am very happy and grateful for the support from the Pacific Games office for SASNOC and Team Samoa.”
Last week, SASNOC distributed sporting equipment to Athletics Samoa, the Samoa Basketball Federation, and Samoa International Cricket Association in preparation for the games in July.
CEO Tuala Matthew Vaea said developing sports in Samoa was the motivation for the gifts.
Pacific Games CEO Falefata said the office is “on track” for sponsorship, venue refurbishment, broadcasting and the important torch relay to herald the beginning of the games, before 24 nations descend on Samoa in just over 5 months.