ACCORDING to those at Ground Zero, the Philippines Sea Games could end up being labelled as the worst Games ever organised.
However, due to shrewd anticipation and preparation, Malaysian athletes and officials are set to be better off than the rest of the 10 contingents descending on Manila, Clark and Subic Bay.
“We have been in touch with the Games organisers on how to overcome some of the problems that they have been facing for a few months.
“So, we know what to expect and what measures to take to make it a much more comfortable Games for our athletes and officials,” said National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Seri Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.
Some of the problems which affected the early arrivals were poor transportation, miscommunication by volunteers, venues still being spruced up as well as food.
“After finding out about some of the problems beforehand from our officials who went early, we come up with measures to overcome them.
“That is why we are much better prepared than some of the other arrivals,” said Shapawi.
The organisation and venues in Manila are the worst affected, while those at Clark and Subic are better prepared.
“The problems are plenty in Manila, while the feedbacks from our officials on Subic and Clark are better.
“Some venues in Manila are still not ready, and they are a little chaotic right now.”
The problems are mainly due to a major “decentralisation” as the venues are spread out over 23 cities across the Philippines, and divided into four clusters on the island of Luzon.
Manila, Clark, Subic-Olongapo and a fourth cluster consisting of standalone venues are making it difficult to manage in terms of logistics and food.
The Philippines Sea Games will host about 10,000 athletes from 11 countries starting on Saturday. It will also have the most number of sports in the history of the Games, at 56.
However, the Philippines is no stranger to organising the Games as this will be the fourth time (after 2005, 1991 and 1981) that it is hosting the Games.
“Halal food is a big problem for those staying in hotels right now as it is difficult to get.
“We knew about this, so we gave out instant nutritious food which only needed to be heated up for the athletes and officials.
“We have been informed that halal food will only be available from Nov 26 onwards at hotels, while the Games Villages are more prepared and catering for it from the start.
“We have prepared what we could for our athletes. As for what is out of our hands, we have told them to make do and live with it,” said Shapawi.
Brunei was originally awarded the 2019 Games in 2012, but it pulled out days before the 2015 Games. The Philippines then agreed to take over.
Source: New Straits Times https://bit.ly/2OouSe5