Samoa to table proposal for Polynesian Games

A proposal for Polynesian Games that would be contested by athletes from the 12-member states will be tabled at the Polynesian Leaders Group meeting in Tuvalu in September.

The proposal has the backing of Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi following the successful hosting of the XVI Samoa Pacific Games.

According to Tuilaepa, the formal proposal for the new Games to become a reality will be tabled in the upcoming Polynesian Leaders yearly meeting in Tuvalu in the margins of the Pacific Island Forum Leaders annual summit.

Reviewing the Pacific Games Tuilaepa says that he noted that competitors from Papua New Guinea and other Melanesian countries performed exceptionally well in individual sports such as athletics compared to athletes from Polynesia countries such as Niue, Cook Islands, Wallis and Futuna even Samoa.

And he has been informed of the Melanesian Games held every two years as a lead up to the main Pacific Games is a contributing factor to their preparations.

To that end, Tuilaepa would like to see the athletes from the 12 member countries of the Polynesian Leaders Group afforded the same opportunity.

“The more competitions, the better chances our athletes will have to fine tune their preparations for the full Pacific Games,” he said.

Tuilaepa will also be proposing that Samoa host the first Polynesian Games taking into account the availability of sports facilities and infrastructure coupled with the country’s track record to host events at a moment’s notice.

The Polynesian Leaders Group was formed in September 2011 when Tuilaepa initiated a meeting with the leaders of Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, and Niue on the margins of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) summit in Auckland.

The idea for the new forum was modelled after the Melanesian Spearhead Group, and designed to bring together the independent or self-governing countries or territories of Polynesia to address mutual concerns.

Since that initial meeting the PLG has expanded to include American Samoa, French Polynesia, Tokelau, and Wallis and Futuna, and now its three new members.



Photo supplied Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi