Oceania Cup Competition – Officials & Planning

Oceania Cup Competition – Officials & Planning

Article by Bob Snow

The athletes from the Micronesian Region to the north of the Equator, have always had difficulties travelling to host cities south of the Equator for Oceania Athletics competitions and the Pacific Games. This is a wonderful opportunity for them to stay within their own region and enjoy all the fruits that good competition can bring to them. More than half of the competitors in the Oceania Cup come from Micronesian Athletics/Track & Field federations. We must bear in mind that the next Pacific Mini Games will be held in Palau, 20 years after they hosted the Games in 2005.

The Micronesian Games will be held in 2024 at Majuro in the Marshall Islands from 15th to 24th June.

Fifteen officials from Australia joined with 30 from the Northern Mariana Islands and one from the Marshall Islands to conduct the many Oceania Cup and Oceania Masters’ Championships over the four days of competition.

Many local technical officials got their first taste of championship Athletics at the Mini Games in 2022. Once again, they were joined by experienced officials from Australia who had officiated at Olympic Games, World Athletics Championships, Commonwealth Games and the Pacific Games. Working with the local officials, and passing on their expertise, the visiting officials have produced a large cadre of experienced CNMI officials who are now available in Micronesia to officiate at the big events in 2024 and 2025.

Getting ready for major meets like those about to start in Saipan, takes a huge amount of planning before the first athletes and officials get on an aircraft to fly to the host destination, and a long time before the first event starts on Thursday 22nd June.

The list of preliminary work and planning is almost never ending –

  • Booking the Athletics venue and the hotel rooms for the athletes and officials.
  • Planning the flight schedule for hundreds of people from the Pacific Islands and farther afield.
  • Organising and distributing the uniforms for the athletes and the officials.
  • Getting the entries for the five teams taking part in the Oceania Cup.
  • Arranging the accreditation for all athletes and officials.
  • Ensuring that the fully automatic timing and the computers are ready for the beginning of competition. Making sure that the wind gauges and the distance measuring machine are ready for action.
  • Setting up of the competition headquarters at the track.
  • Setting up the computers and photocopy machine in the competition  headquarters.
  • Working out what equipment is needed to run a successful meet and ensuring that the items not available locally can be brought in from overseas.

Only when all of these tasks have been completed can the organisers feel satisfied that they are ready for the four days of action that we are now about to enjoy.

Thanks go to the tireless efforts of the OAA Headquarters staff who have been working on this event for months, and also to the volunteer officials who have contributed valuable work as the big day approaches. A huge amount of work has been undertaken by the Local Organising Committee, to ensure that the competition runs smoothly.

Let the Games Begin.