Friday 24: A ceremonial blessing of the 2009 Pacific Mini Games organising committee was held yesterday at the Office of the Prime Minister.
The event organised by games minister Wilkie Rasmussen was a show of unity in the body that is charged with organising the games.
Around 60 people gathered together for the function including members of the government, House of Ariki, members of the Religious Advisory Council, local business owners plus the majority of the personnel working to deliver a successful sporting event in September.
2009 Pacific Mini Games chief executive officer Mac Mokoroa told those gathered that there were 109 people on the organising committee working in their various sectors to pull together the games, and 175 registered volunteers including 30 people from New Zealand and 10 from Australia prepared to pay their own way to Rarotonga to
help with the games in anyway they can.
Mokoroa says that they hope to get between 800 and 1000 volunteers signed up for the games.
“Our doors are open to anyone who wants to contribute in anyway to the games,” says Mokoroa.
Mokoroa also acknowledged the presence of representatives of the games major sponsors Bank of the Cook Islands plus a number of local business who have put their hands up to support the games including the Computer Man and Cook’s Passenger Transport.
Speeches were also heard from Rasmussen and newly-elected Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee president Sir Geoffrey Henry.
Both expressed the need for everybody to put their differences aside and pour their energy into delivering the best mini games ever seen.
Rasmussen admitted that there have been some difficult times in trying to get the games organised especially in the area of the games budget.
He told those present -- which included Oceania Olympic Committee president Dr Robin Mitchell -- that when the going gets tough, Cook Islanders always rise to the occasion.
He explained that the day’s event organised for the purpose of introducing and blessing of members of the organising committee was a show of ‘goodwill’ and for differences to be put aside and to unite everyone for the single purpose of delivering the games.
Rasmussen even apologised for the games budget being ‘blown out’ than originally thought. “But that is to be expected when we cannot foresee the unseen circumstances,” says Rasmussen.
Sir Geoffrey echoed the words of encouragement by Rasmussen.
Henry explained the importance of understanding the ownership of the games.
He says that while the games are owned by the Pacific Games Council the Cook Islands as a nation owns the right to host the best mini games.
Some of the members of the organising committee were introduced before the ‘voice from the past’ Tui Short spoke of the challenges he faced as the director of the 1985 mini games.
Short too acknowledged the ability of Cook Islanders to get things done when times get tough. - MW