Banaban Voice

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Kiribati and Nauru will now compete in Melanesian Championships instead of Micronesian Athletics Championships

Thursday, February 19, 2009
By Roselyn Monroyo, Reporter

$51,000 budget proposed for 2009 Micronesian Athletics Championships

Micronesian representative to the Oceania Athletics Association Council Robin Sapong had already submitted the proposed AU$80,000 [US$51,318.29] budget for the 2009 Micronesian Athletics Championships.

The budget submission was made in Nadi, Fiji during the OAA Council meeting, which was attended by IAAF Area Representative to Oceania Bill Bailey, OAA Council president Geoff Gardner of the Norfolk Island, vice president Filimoni Vuli Waqa of Fiji, Australia representative Danny Cocoran, New Zealand representative Trevor Spittle, General Island representative Willie Fong of Samoa and Polynesian representative Titaua Maurin of French Polynesia.

Sapong said the OAA Council is expected to make the final decision about the budget in the next few months.

The Micronesian representative added they were able to secure sponsorship from Adidas for the area championship.

“Adidas will sponsor gear for the participants, just like what it did during the 2008 Oceania Area Championships,” Sapong said.

This year's Micronesian Athletics Championships will take place in Koror, Palau on Dec. 11 and 12.

Northern Marianas Athletics president Kurt Barnes announced that the CNMI is hoping to send 20 delegates to the area championships in Palau during the 2008 NMA Awards Banquet last week.

Tryouts will be conducted to select the CNMI representatives and NMA will also release standards for the selection.

Besides Palau and the CNMI, the biennial meet will feature tracksters from the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, and the Marshall Islands.

Sapong said Kiribati and Nauru, which used to compete in the MAC, will now be seeing action in the Melanesian Championships.

“But results will still be included in the MAC for rankings. The OAA Council decided to allow Nauru and Kiribati to participate in the Melanesian Championships, instead of the MAC for cost-cutting purposes and convenience of affected members,” Sapong said.

“In the past stagings of MAC, Nauru and Kiribati had a hard time coming to Palau, Saipan, and Guam because of the lack of available flights. Since they [Kiribati and Nauru] are closer to Australia, it will be wise to have them join the Melanesian Championships,” Sapong said.

This year's Melanesian Championships will be held in Cairns, Australia.

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