The Fiji Times »2022 Pacific mini-games to include para-athletics
SAIPAN, SEPTEMBER 28, 2021 (MARIANAS VARIETY) – Para-athletics will be among the Pacific mini-games Saipan will host next year.
2022 Pacific Mini-Games general manager Ben Babauta said events will include the men’s and women’s shot put (walking and sitting), the men’s and women’s javelin and the 100-meter race (walking).
There is also the possibility of a wheelchair race of 400 or 800 meters for men and women, he added.
All events will have male and female categories, Babauta said.
The organizing committee is currently reaching out to anyone interested in participating in para-athletics. “I think it’s very exciting for the CNMI to present local para-athletes,” he added.
Yvonne Mullins, Executive Director of the Oceania Athletics Association and Technical Delegate for the 2022 Pacific Mini-Games, said: “The Oceania Athletics Association is delighted to be visiting Saipan again… . The Pacific mini-games set to take place in June 2022 will offer a much wider range of events than what has been seen in previous editions of the Oceania Championships or the Micronesia Games. “
She said the Pacific 2022 mini-games will offer an expanded range of para events open to all competing Pacific associations.
“We are delighted to be able to offer para events to the CNMI mini-games,” she added. “We have never been able to offer para events at our previous championships or games held in Saipan and we look forward to highlighting these events. We hope to be able to include the wheelchair track event which will give more para-athletes the opportunity to compete.
Para events have become increasingly popular during the last two Pacific Games hosted by Papua New Guinea and Samoa, and are expected to become even more popular over time, said Oceania Athletics Association.
For his part, Northern Marianas Athletics General Secretary Robin Sapong said they are now working closely with the CEO of the 2022 Pacific Mini-Games and the local organizing committee to prepare the facilities, among others, for para-athletes.
“As a host, we have to make sure that we consider the safety and well-being of para-athletes as they have different classifications,” said Sapong.
“We are very happy to be the first sports federation to host para events in our region. Of course, we will also need the support of our community, partners and other stakeholders to organize these events which aim to promote diversity and inclusion, ”he added.