Vanuatu 2017 expect over 1,800 athletes to attend the Games ©Facebook/ONOC Digest

Vanuatu 2017 organisers have stated that around 1,832 athletes are on course to attend this year’s Pacific Mini Games.

Members of the Organising Committee provided an update on their progress for the multi-sport event here today, as preparations continue for the Games in December.

Clint Flood, Vanuatu 2017 chief executive, stated that 1,101 male and 731 female athletes are currently registered to take part across 13 sports.

A further 498 team officials are also earmarked to attend, while participation could be further increased as Australia and New Zealand are now expected to compete in weightlifting.

However, Flood requested that National Olympic Committees also put forward technical officials to help with the demands of staging the event.

“We are working very hard with the National Federations in Vanuatu to build an to build the capacity and we are working with technical delegates to secure technical officials across the Pacific,” Flood said.

“There has been an appeal for technical officials to be included as part of your teams.

“New Caledonia have committed 15 technical officials and that is a huge support, which helps to offset our budget and builds capacity.”

Vanuatu's Sports Minister Seoule Simeon was present to help with the presentation ©Facebook/ONOC Digest
Vanuatu's Sports Minister Seoule Simeon was present to help with the presentation ©Facebook/ONOC Digest

A total of 15 sports will feature at the Games, with the number including Para-athletics and Para table tennis.

Vanuatu 2017 also stated that the beach volleyball competition at the Games could act as a qualifier for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, but confirmation is still required.

The organisers are also able to count on the support of China, with the country’s Government having helped fund venues for the Games, as they have pledged to do for the Tonga 2019 Pacific Games.

“The Korman complex consists of a 12,000 seater outdoor stadium, a track that is fully lit, an indoor hall, six tennis courts, four beach volleyball courts and archery.

“We will be able to do most of our sports at Korman.

“I also makes our life much easier when it comes to transport.”

Vanuatu's Sports Minster Seoule Simeon was also at the meeting to help with the presentation.

The Games will take place from December 4 to 15, with around 24 teams set to participate.

This year also marks the historic 30th anniversary of Vanuatu being accepted as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The organisers have also pledged to help the environment through the Games, vowing to plant a tree for every medal.

Flood also stated that sponsorship for the Games had reached nearly $1 million (£800,000/€940,000), with a series of tender processes for various goods and services having also been launched this month.

It is hope the tender process with be concluded in May.

Athletes are set to be housed in five schools, with an average of 12 being placed into each room.