Sunday, March 2, 2014

Up-to-par sports facilities, an all-around need in the FSM

Driving onto the College of Micronesia-FSM National Campus, Palikir, one can easily notice the major clearing work going on at the right side of the main road. Visitors to the college have been wondering what the work is for. It must certainly have to do with construction of some sort of facility for the college.

On February 28, I dropped in at the college's Maintenance Unit to find out about the clearing activity and was very fortunate to run into Mr. Ally Olter, the "on the ground" supervisor for the project. He was kind enough to make time for the unexpected visit and explain the whole thing.

A neat facility development model, made way back in 2002, had been sitting in Mr. Olter's corner. Apparently, there was interest back then to build sports facilities on the college premise in anticipation of the 2002 Micronesian Games. However, as Mr. Olter explained, the plan was sidelined when decisions leaned in favor of availing facilities elsewhere throughout the island. Now, as the Games make their way back to Pohnpei, and as the FSM indicated interest to assist the States in upgrading sports facilities throughout the Nation, a few individuals would like to rejuvenate the "old plan". Thus, the model that served as a memory of a dying past effort the last 14 years, has seen flicks and sparks of new light, taking center-stage, at least with the college folks, at a time that Pohnpei, and by extension the rest of FSM, needs to showcase seriousness in sports development in terms of up-to-par facilities.

Given that there is space for expansion at the college's premise, one can appreciate the logic in having these sort of asset for the FSM placed with its only institution of higher learning. However, widespread awareness (and perhaps more adequate input by stakeholders) on the underpinning objectives of the project is still lacking. Even many of the students currently taking classes seem unaware of and uninformed about the activity a few meters away from their learning complex.

The video clip above has Mr. Olter explaining the facility plan model.

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