So far, so good: Minogue

Pacific Games Council Executive Director Andrew Minogue is impressed with the facilities and atmosphere building up to the start of the 2017 Pacific Mini Games in Port Vila, Vanuatu come Monday December 4th.

“I think the athletes are gonna have a fantastic experience down there at the opening ceremony on Monday night and then the competition in the following two weeks,” said Minogue.

Minogue has been involved in various meetings since arriving on Monday.

His plate is full everyday, Chef de Mission meetings every morning regarding team logistics and attends to other meetings with the Games Organising Committee, government, various side meetings in and around Vila prior to the opening.

“So far, so good,” say Minogue.

“Daily Chef de Mission meetings wrapped up in an hour. Most of the things solved in an hour.

“We got a few more teams to arrive and the latest on Monday.”

One thing Vanuatu offers as well is a lot of music and lots of smiling faces. A major festival is being organized to run alongside the Games.

Minogue says weather forecast for Monday’s opening is clear skies.

It has been raining consistently since teams started arriving and Minogue expects a wet opening.

A little over 1300 athletes expected to compete for the next two weeks.

“Numbers are down a little bit because Tahiti not coming and some of the other teams have had to make cuts just prior to travel, however, it’s a step up from the previous one in Wallis where we had eight sports and more difficult place to get to compared to Vanuatu.”

Australia and New Zealand were invited to compete in Rugby 7s and Weightlifting but have only entered athletes in the latter because of the World 7s Series.

Most of the Pacific Island countries have entered 7s rugby teams because it’s a qualifier for the World Cup in San Francisco next year.

Minogue says the hosts are passionate about their football and there’ll be a lot of excitement around soccer.

“Boxing is very strong here and they have some good athletes in the sprints and their table tennis team as well.

“3 by 3 basketball here for the first time. It’s a new sport in the Olympic Games and they’ve also been dominant in beach-volleyball,” said Minogue.

Minogue is also preparing for the Pacific Games Council meeting to be held on December 10th.