Optimism is reportedly growing among organisers of next year’s rescheduled Pacific Mini Games thanks to the rollout of coronavirus vaccines in host country the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the event, originally scheduled to be held in 2021, to be moved to 2022.
Saipan, the capital of CNMI, is set to host the 11th edition of the Pacific Mini Games from June 17 to 25 in 2022.
Radio New Zealand Pacific reported the Organising Committee "are assuming these Games will go ahead and are planning towards that".
About 10,000 people are understood to have received their first dose of the vaccine in the CNMI which has a population of almost 60,000.
"Our goal in the Mariana is to get up to 90 per cent of our community vaccinated so when that happens there could be a chance that we could be able to have far more flights opened up for us," Organising Committee chairman Marco Peter told RNZ.
Twenty-four nations are expected to compete in athletics, badminton, baseball, beach volleyball, golf and triathlon at the 2022 Pacific Mini Games.
The programme was cut from 12 to six as a cost-cutting measure following the impact of the Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018, but it has been suggested tennis and weightlifting could be added.
The budget for the Games has been also reduced by more than half from $8 million (£6 million/€6.5 million) to $3 million (£2 million/€2.5 million).
The Government is committed to paying half of that, according to RNZ, and the Organising Committee hope that they will be able to get up to 80 per cent.
"Seed funding" of around $20,000 (£14,600/€16,600 has also been given to organisers by the Pacific Games Council.