Cricket Volunteers: SPG More Than Just Sports
THE SOUTH PACIFIC GAMES - MORE THAN JUST SPORTS
Samoa has prepared for the 2007 South Pacific Games since 2003 and earlier. Samoa's preparations for the Games have involved substantial Government investment in infrastructure, sports and human development. The Games have not only involved substantial Government investment but indeed the investment of the Samoan people and community in the Games to make it a truly successful event. Now that the Games have arrived, the years of preparation and sacrifice which included substantial curbs on Government spending is reflected in the exceptional standard of the venues and the level of organisation being demonstrated at each sport.
To deliver a successful Games, the South Pacific Games Authority and the South Pacific Games Organising Committee is relying substantially on the army of volunteers who will make and have made the Games such a success to date. When looking at the hive off activity off the field and off the court, it is apparent that the South Pacific Games are about more than just sports and what occurs on the field. The infectious spirit of the Games and the coming together of thousands of people extends to the volunteers off the field - caught up in the excitement of the Games and giving their time freely to make it a huge success.
When looking around the impressive Faleata Gardens Cricket ovals, the diverse background of the volunteers is apparent. Amongst the eighteen volunteers at the Faleata Gardens cricket fields, their are men and women, school students and retirees, business people, university lecturers, public servants, lawyers, IT specialists, scientists and consultants. From this pool of volunteers, not only from Samoa but also overseas, a first class venue coupled with a first class competition is being delivered and delivered successfully.
The volunteers in cricket as indeed it will be in all 33 sports on offer in 2007 demonstrate that the spirit of the Games extends far beyond the sporting field. The spirit of the Games delves deeper to encompass personal friendships built around the Games. These friendships between volunteers, between athletes, between volunteers and athletes and between volunteers, athletes and officials from across the Pacific and from all walks will last well beyond the two weeks of the Games. This, as is the spirit of the games, will be the true legacy of Samoa 2007.
In the final analysis, the Games are not simply about medals - although these are the most obvious measure of a participants success at the Games - but are also about the friendships and memories that all participants in whatever form they come will take from Samoa as they leave. The diversity of the participants at the Games is perhaps best illustrated by the participation of Samoa's Prime Minister in the Samoan archery team - a participant that no doubt will add to the experiences that his fellow competitiors will take from the archery field.
In speaking proudly of the cricket volunteers, Paul Tomane, Assistant Competition Mananger for cricket said:
"This is the second day of competition and we have been very pleased with our preparations and the implementation of our volunteer plan to date. We have
volunteers involved in catering delivery, assistance with security, scoring, scoreboard attendances; field management, IT, media liaison and the complete range of things we need to do to make sure that cricket as a sport is a success in 2007. They have come together and are working together to really make cricket in 2007 a great experience for the players, the officials and themselves. I would like to say thank you to them for their time and their hard work - and if you have the chance - to invite the public to come and watch the exciting cricketing action!"
Mr Tomane's pride in the cricket volunteers and their work at cricket to deliver a successful competition is a reflection off the field of the spirit of the Games that so often is remembered for what happens on the field.
Visit our Photo gallery to see more photos of volunteers, officials and cricket action.