SAIPAN (MARIANAS VARIETY)—With less than two months away before the start of the Pacific Mini Games 2022, the CNMI national va’a team’s training is progressing well, according to Northern Marianas National Paddle Sports Federation President Justin Andrew.

He said the team’s 14 men and women have been working hard, and are out on the water  six days a week.

“We’re trying to lighten up our weight work in the weight rooms and focus more on water time,” he added.

Andrew said they’re also honing their technique while bringing the team together and working on cardio on land.

“That’s where we are now,” he said. About three weeks ago, they covered a 15-mile stretch while sailing to Managaha and back, he added.

Last year, over 20 men and women vied for a spot on the national team.

“Who’s going to actually sit out the race as a substitute, we don’t know yet,” Andrew said as only 12 paddlers could race at a time while the other two will be substitutes. “The more you show up, the more time you put in the water, showing technique, teamwork, sportsmanship — the more likely you’ll get picked,” he added. 

Asked about the team’s chemistry, Andrew said, “We’re coming from three different schools of paddling, but I have to admit: we have come a long way.”

He added, “I hear positive feedback from them — they  feel that the team is coming together as one.”

Meanwhile, Northern Marianas College’s Information Technology team led by NMC Vice President Frankie Eliptico, the Office of the Governor, Adztech of Guam, Nishta Thomas of the Pacific Mini Games and the Public School System met Tuesday at the Office of the Commissioner of Education Dr Alfred B. Ada on Capital Hill to discuss the media coverage for the Pacific Mini Games this June.

The CNMI will welcome close to 1,700 athletes and coaches from 24 participating nations and territories…..PACNEWS

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