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Super Typhoon Yutu freezes events at Oleai sports complex

AT the Oleai Sports Complex everything is on hold.

All the sports events at the Gilbert C. Ada Gym, Francisco Tanko Palacios Baseball Field and the Oleai Sports Complex track and field are all put on hold, said Northern Marianas Sports Association Executive Director Tony Rogolifoi.

The organizers of the sports events as well as the management and staffers of the islands sports facility cannot do anything right now because everything at the sports facility is damage, said Rogolifoi in an interview with Variety.

The bleachers, fences and roofs were damaged, and different kinds of debris litter the entire facility.

Even the pavilion next to the gym had its roof blown away. The track and field is flooded and portions of its fence are down. An old bleacher and the container van used as storage for sports devices ended up at the Kilili Beach across Beach Road, following the devastating Super Typhoon Yutu on Oct. 24 to 25.

Since the day after typhoon, Rogolifoi and NMASA staff workers have been busy clearing the entire facility of debris.

But as for the sports events held there, Rogolifoi said, “We cannot do anything right now as everything is damaged.”

Iron sheets and pieces of wood were gathered at the side of Oleai Sports Complex track and field as Northern Marianas Sports Association started the clean up. Photo by Emmanuel T. EredianoIron sheets and pieces of wood were gathered at the side of Oleai Sports Complex track and field as Northern Marianas Sports Association started the clean up. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

“There will be no sports activities to continue and to be held at the facility until such time when everything is back in good shape,” he said.

Aside from cleaning up the facility, the sports organization, Rogolifoi said can still facilitate the participation of NMI athletes in off-island events.

“Of course that was part of the plan since early this year,” he said.

“Our main concern right now is the facility. With regards to our athletes going off island I don’t see any problem with that,” Rogolifoi said.

Asked how soon sports at the facility can go back, the executive director said, “it is going to take awhile. This typhoon was bigger than the Soudelor in 2015 so it will take a while here before things can back to normal,” he added.

Aside from the Saipan Baseball League at the Tanko field the other sports events that were going on when the Category 5 typhoon hit the island were volleyball, 3×3 hoops and training of local athletes.

NMASA development officer Elias Rangamar said “now everything is on hold.”

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/sports/108685-super-typhoon-yutu-freezes-events-at-oleai-sports-complex

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