The capital city of Vanuatu is preparing to host the 2017 Pacific Mini Games or Van2017. Port Vila will welcome athletes from 24 nations and territories for the Oceania region's premier multi-sporting event. The 2017 Pacific Mini Games, which are held every 4 years, will take place December 4 though 15. Participants will compete in 14 sports, including, archery, judo, tennis and rugby.
The president of Seventh-day Adventist Church's Vanuatu territory recently signed an agreement to allow Van2017 to use the Church's new multipurpose hall in Port Vila. The hall will be used for the event's weightlifting competitions. According to Nos Terry Mailalong, the meeting also served as an opportunity for officials to see how the hall could be used as an evacuation center for future natural disasters.
Mailalong said, "When Van2017 approached us about using this facility for the Games, we were happy to assist because this hall is not intentionally built just for Mission programs--it is planned for other denominations or groups to use the building as well, as long as they abide by the conditions of use agreement put forward by the church.
He went on to say, "In the long run, this area is going to be very beneficial to all our communities, so let's work together to build that relationship, for the interest of our people." The hall is currently under construction but will be completed by the end of this month. It is expected to seat up to 5,000 people. [photo: Van2017]