Sports Experts Drive Run-Up to Yap Micro Games

Fiji Volleyballer Apensia Saukuru

Colonia, Yap — Preparations for the 2018 Micro Games, slated for July 15 – 27, are at their peak as the participating teams and coaches train for the competition across Micronesia. But in Yap there are two separate groups getting ready: the Micro Games Organizing Committee and the Team Yap Committee. Thanks to support from the FSM National Olympic Committee that received two International Olympic Committee Development of National Sport Structures grants, both groups will benefit from experts in baseball, beach volleyball and volleyball who arrive this month and will be in Yap for the next three months.

Inoke Niubalavu, Baseball Development Officer for the Baseball Confederation of Oceania, will arrive in Yap April 15 to assist the Organizing Committee and the Team Yap Committee in preparing for the Micro Games baseball competition. In addition, he will work with the island’s Men’s baseball team to improve practices and preparation for the event.

Mark Hartman, Baseball Competition Manager for the Micro Games, and Castro Joab, Co-Chairman of the Micro Games Sport Committee, will partner with Inoke to recruit and train Yap volunteers to assist with running the competition during the games. Bringing into play his experience in preparing a baseball field for tournament play and training volunteer scorekeepers, statisticians and groundskeepers, Inoke will also work with local elementary schools to introduce Little League Baseball to the island. “We are grateful to the FSMNOC for donating a set of Little League baseball equipment including gloves, bats, balls, helmets, catchers outfit and bases, plus bats and balls for Team Yap’s Men’s Baseball team,” said Liyon Sulog, CEO and Co-chair of the Organizing Committee. “Their support and generosity during the last four years of preparation has been invaluable.”

Concurrently, Beach Volleyball and Indoor Volleyball Expert Instructor Apenisa Saukuru, also from Fiji, will arrive in Yap on April 25 for three months to assist in preparing for those two volleyball competitions. He will be working with Yap’s Men’s and Women’s Volleyball teams to improve practices and preparation for the Games in partnership with Joab and Daniel Kenneg and Kimberly Cho, Volleyball and Beach Volleyball Competition Managers, to recruit and train volunteers to assist with running the competitions. According to Jim Tobin, Secretary General of the FSMNOC, “Apenisa’s expertise is in properly preparing venues for tournament play and training volunteer officials including referees, linemen, scorekeepers, statisticians and other volleyball officials. We’re very fortunate to have him in Yap during the lead-up to this important quadrennial event.”

A weeklong officiating course for Beach Volleyball and Indoor Volleyball will be held at the Yap Sports Complex from May 6 to 12, led by Apensia. “The FSMNOC is bringing one volleyball coach each from Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae to attend the course,” said Tobin. “And we are recruiting up to 20 local volunteers. This is a rare opportunity for those who are interested in learning the skills required to officiate tournaments and we encourage them to sign up.“ While in Yap, Apenisa will also be working with local elementary schools to introduce Beach Volleyball to the island’s youth.

To learn more about the training opportunities for baseball, indoor volleyball and beach volleyball, contact the Team Yap Committee at 350-5212 or [email protected] or stop by the Yap Sports Complex office to sign up. For anyone interested in volunteering for these sports teams or for the Micro Games, contact the Micro Games office at 350-2440, email [email protected], fill in the volunteer form on www.microgames2018.com, or stop by the Micro Games office at the Small Business Center in Colonia.

Source: Pacific Island Times