Games Council says Wallis and Futuna is ready
The President of Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, is confident everything is in place for the start of competition at the Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna.
This is the first time the French territory have hosted a Pacific Games event, with more than 800 athletes competing across eight sports in four locations over the next week and a half.
The remote location of the Games has presented challenges with transport, accommodation and some facilities, but Vidhya Lakhan told Vinnie Wylie everything is in place for one of most unique and special Games ever.
VIDHYA LAKHAN: For the first time, Wallis and Futuna have offered to organise the Games for us. We were quite pleased about it. And I guess from what we’ve seen this morning - the traditional kava welcoming ceremony - in these Games tradition will be very much to the forefront. And I think the delegations will enjoy their stay. It’s going to be very unique, because of the way the island is. And the athletes and all the delegations will have a very wonderful and a unique Games.
VINNIE WYLIE: I guess that’s one of the aspects of the Mini Games that allows you to bring it some of the smaller territories and countries and experience something different. Are you satisfied that the organising committee has everything ready, as they should?
VL: We met with them last night, and from their report I guess we’re all ready to start the Games on Tuesday morning with the first competition. The technical committees are meeting, sorting out finishing touches to the final preparation of the Games. So it should be good. I hope the weather holds.
VW: It is lovely here weather here in Wallis, certainly better than we’re I’ve come from back in New Zealand. What sort of vibe are you finding around here? Obviously, the countries meeting each other today and what-not. We’re sort of a day away from the official opening ceremony.
VL: I think what we’re seeing is we’re achieving the aims and objectives of the South Pacific Games when it was initially formed. It was to provide an opportunity for the Island people to meet once every so often in a friendly sporting competition and exchange our cultures, get to know one another and have better understanding so we are able to unite the Pacific region as a region of one people.
VW: And finally, Vidhya, what are you expecting over the coming 11, 12 days here in Wallis?
VL: A wonderful Games. And we hope to enjoy the Wallis and Fortunian hospitality.
The first event at the Games is the men’s 10,000 metres final on Tuesday morning.
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