Bali eager to host 2020 national games

Bali is eager to host the National Games (PON) in 2020. The resort island is ready to compete against several other provinces also proposing bids to host the event. Governor Made Mangku Pastika conveyed his optimism over Bali’s bid to host the games during a bidding-progress meeting Friday. He stressed that the central government could minimize the cost for the 2020 national games if they chose Bali as the host. “Bali has many accommodation facilities that could be used by athletes, officials, as well as supporters. So, there would be no need to build any special accommodation facilities for athletes,” Pastika said.

PON is a national games event held once every four years, with athletes across the nation competing against each other by province. In 2012, the national games were held in Riau province. In 2016, the national games will be held in West Java province. For the 2020 event, several provinces, including Bali, Papua, Aceh and Central Java, are bidding to be host. Bali officially submitted its bid in November last year, sending its proposal to the Indonesian Sport Council (KONI) office in Jakarta. The proposal was directly handed over by Bali Deputy Governor Ketut Sudikerta with several senior provincial administration officials and KONI Bali chapter officials.

The bidding team was also accompanied by a group of kecak dancers, as a Balinese icon. Pastika said that the involvement of Bali in the bidding process was part of the island’s attempt to develop sport in Bali. Successfully hosting the national games would prove that Bali deserved to be a sport tourism destination. Tourism stakeholders are continuing efforts to develop sports tourism on the island. At the 2013 Congress of the International Association of Sports Law in Bali in November last year, Bali was appointed Sport Tourism Hub of Asia.

Bali has frequently hosted a variety of international sports events, including the Asian Beach Games, with its latest success being Bali Sport Week. Pastika assured that Bali already had adequate sport facilities across the province. “What we need now is only to renovate our facilities, because we already have many sport facilities in all the regencies across Bali,” Pastika said. Pastika also reminded the team to prepare all the province’s athletes for the national games, saying that successful event organizing would mean nothing if Bali’s athletes could not dominate the medals.

“If we can be a good host, this must be followed by a good achievement by our athletes,” he said. The provincial administration’s economy and development assistant, Ketut Wija, who is also acting as the bidding team chairman for the 2020 national games, said that preparations were underway to welcome a team from KONI, who would assess Bali in February. “The national team will come to Bali in February to directly check our preparedness to host the 2020 national games. We are ready with our strategy to win the bidding process,” Wija said.

After the direct assessment, he added, the Bali team would be invited to Jakarta to give a presentation. Bali is competing against six other provinces also hoping to host the 2020 games. “We have produced a short movie on Bali’s readiness to host the 2020 national games. The six-minute movie is hoped to make the team from Jakarta feel sure that Bali is totally ready to host the event,” Wija said.

source : bali dialy

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