Panam Sports secretary general Ivar Sisniega has urged the Peruvian Government and national sports federations to ensure they fully utilise facilities delivered for the Pan American Games in Lima.
Sisniega made the assertion during a press conference at the midpoint of the Games in Peru’s capital city, where the official praised local organisers on a positive first week.
Significant investment in sporting infrastructure was made in the build-up to the Games, with an aquatic centre, neighbouring velodrome and athletics venue among the facilities delivered at the VIDENA Sports Complex.
Venues were also completed at the Callao Regional Sports Village and Villa María del Triunfo, with the latter hosting baseball, hockey, rugby and water pool at the Games.
Sisniega encouraged Peruvian sport leaders to make sure the facilities are maintained and used after the 16 days of competition and the Parapan American Games.
The Mexican official added that Panam Sports would continue to assess how future Pan American Games could have a positive influence on the host nations.
This is expected to be one of the aspects considered when Panam Sports conduct a review of their programme after Lima 2019, which will assess the relevance of sports to the region.
“We need to leave infrastructure that helps the host nation in the future," Sisniega said.
“The challenge for Peru is the maintenance and the good use of the facilities afterwards.
“The sports federations of Peru and the Government need to take good advantage of these facilities going forwards.
“Other countries around the world are jealous of the facilities.
“We are looking at how we can ensure legacies of venues for host nations in the future of the Pan American Games.”
Lima 2019 President Carlos Neuhaus told insidethegames earlier this week he hoped the venues would prove self-sustainable after the Games, with legacy plans set to be announced.
Use of the venues for international sporting competitions and by the local population were aims cited by Neuhaus.
Lima 2019 director general Alberto Valenzuela echoed his comments, claiming the venues could significantly benefit athletes in Peru.
“We have a golden generation with investment for the future," Valenzuela said.
“This legacy will be for the younger generation.
“There is infrastructure that will benefit our athletes and across the Americas.
“We are proud of planting the small seed, which will speed up the development of the next generation of athletes.”
Lima 2019 claimed a total of 580,000 tickets have been sold for the Games to date, with 40,000 reportedly bought daily.
Around 400 million people have been asserted to have watched the Games on television, while public approval of the Games from Lima residents was claimed to be 94 per cent.
Sisniega added that 80 per cent of around 800,000 tickets have been sold, when football was not included.
He admitted tickets for the football tournaments in the 32,000-seater Estadio Universidad San Marcos had proved “complicated” when Peru have not been playing.
The Panam Sports secretary general acknowledged that transport would remain their biggest concern heading into the final week of the Games.
Sisniega offered thanks to residents of Lima and volunteers for their continued efforts in assisting the Games.
“Our biggest concern has been, is and will continue to be transport,” he said.
“The Pan American lane has worked really well.
“I would like to thank the people of Lima for their support and understanding, which has helped athletes reach their competitions.”
“Our message is please keep on working.
“The next part is important with athletics and swimming.
“It is very important to keep up this attitude and ensure we finish the Games in a positive fashion.
“We are happy with how the Games have been watched around the continent and around the world.
“The people of Lima have made us feel at home.
“The volunteers have had a positive attitude and have helped out.
“There has been a friendly environment and warmth on the streets of Lima.
“People feel at home here.”