By Lori Lyn Lirio
DUE to bad weather, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands Disability Sports Festival, the first sports event in the islands intended for people with physical and mental disability, is postponed until further notice.
The announcement was made by CNMI-Public School System Sports Director Nick Gross in an interview with the press.
“Due to inclement weather and the elevated risk associated in this kind of weather, the organizing committee decided to postpone the event,” Gross, who is also the chairman of the organizing committee, said.
The CNMI Disability Sports Festival, organized by multi agencies led by Lady Diann Torres Foundation, was supposed to take place on July 6 and 7 at the Marianas High School.
Gross said they were expecting 70 participants from Saipan, Tinian and Rota in the first-ever people disability sports events. He also said the organizing committee will meet to identify the best dates to reschedule the sports fest.
“With Micro Games coming up and the opening of the school, we need to sit down and look and identify an appropriate weekend that we can move forward with the festival,” he said, adding they will not cancel the event.
“I am 100 percent sure it will push through. Nobody expected this and we didn’t have a good plan in place for the inclement weather,” Gross explained.
In an earlier interview, first lady Diann Torres said this will be the first time that the CNMI will have sports fest for people with disability.
“We had that in the 80s. We call it Special Olympics but it died out,” she said.
She added part of the funds for the event came from the Office of the Grants Management.
She said they have reached out to different agencies such as the PSS and disability partners – autism group and those dealing with disabilities – to bring their client and have them participate.
“The event will give people with special needs a chance to demonstrate their athletic abilities,” she said.