|Cook Islanders are mad about sport. In fact there are 28 sporting bodies affiliated to
the local Sports and Olympic Association.
(Athletics, Aerobics, Badminton, Baseball,
Basketball, Boxing, Bodybuilding, Bowling (Lawn), Canoe/Vaka,
Cricket, Darts, Football (Soccer), Golf, Handball, Kayak,
Karate/Martial Arts, Netball, Powerlifting, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Squash,
Swimming, Tennis, Touch, Triathlon,
Volleyball, Weightlifting and Yachting). As well such activities as
line dancing, snorkelling, scuba diving and deep sea fishing are
Traditionally rugby union and netball have been the major winter sports
both on Rarotonga and in the outer islands, being played from about March until July
between village teams at levels from Under 12 to Golden Oldies. Summer sports include
tennis and cricket. Rugby league is becoming increasingly popular as is soccer, due in
part to funding from major overseas organisations (Superleague and FIFA). With a
population of less than 10 000, Rarotonga's sportsmen and women take part in many
There are plenty of opportunities for visitors to join in. As well as international
tournaments, club and social teams often combine a holiday with a few games. This would be
arranged with the local sports code.
Individuals are well catered for:
Owen Gaze recently returned to Les Mills' Gym in
after a stint at Top Shape in Rarotonga
- Top Shape Health and Fitness operate a gym in Avarua. Open six days a week from 6.30am
to 7pm (8am - 12 noon on Saturdays).
- Above the gym is the aerobics room with classes at 12noon Monday to Friday. (The days
may change for the classes shown below.)
- Monday noon - Body Pump
- Tuesday noon - Hi/Lo aerobics
- Wednesday noon - Body Jam
- Thursday - Body Pump
- Friday - Super Circuit
- Casual charges are $6 for the gym and $4 for an aerobic class. Special 6-session tickets
are available for $24 (gym) and $18 (aerobics).
- Hash House Harriers run every Monday - time and start are given in
Monday's Cook Islands News.
- Cross Country. Midweek races take place in February and March
- Road Race Series. Midweek series usually starts in August leading up to
- Cycling. A group of cyclists meets every Saturday at Ronnies Bar in
town for a bike ride around the island.
- Duathlon. A series of midweek run/cycle duathlons begins in March.
- Triathlon. The season starts in April with short course races held at
Muri Lagoon. Course lengths increase leading up to a Half Olympic distance tri.
Held in April each year. Includes high class overseas competitors but many other visitors
also join in. Individuals only.
The Tinman. Rarotonga's answer to the Ironman contests. Takes place on
ANZAC Saturday each year. Individuals and teams (one person for each leg) are welcome in
this event. There is also a Corporate Triathlon held in November each year. Teams of three
representing various island businesses cover a short course (200m/8km/2km) one at a time.
||Round Rarotonga Road Race. First Saturday in
October - October 2nd this year. 32km around the island on the main road. The race has
been going for over 20 years and many competitors return year after year for the Week of
Running which includes short fun runs, a Nutters Run on the track that crosses the island,
a round the rock relay and also a run around one of the outer islands.
- The 9-hole course on Rarotonga has some unusual hazards. It is the site of the airport
radio masts and both masts and guy wires make life interesting for golfers!
- Visitors are welcome. Green fees are $12 for a round (9 or 18 holes). Half sets of clubs
with bag and trundler are also available for hire at $12.
- Season starts in April and runs until November.
- Cost is $2 for unlimited playing time on the green or until the green is unavailable due
to club training and practices.
- Free use of bowls during the open days of Monday - Friday from 1.00pm till late.
- The club is also open on Saturdays but the day is regarded as club day. If a rink is
free visitors are more than welcome to play while the club tournaments
- Facilities at the Bowling Club include a bar for refreshments after a hard day of bowls.
- For more information contact the Bowling Club on (ph) 26-277 and ask for Inatio Akaruru
or George Paniani.
- White dress required.
- Rugby teams are based around the six villages of Avatiu, Arorangi, Ngatangiia,
Takuvaine, Titikaveka and Tupapa.
- With the drop in population over recent years some villages are having difficulty
fielding a full complement of teams but the sport remains the most popular in the Cook
- Old rugby players are reluctant to hang up their boots and there is a thriving Golden
Oldies competition with many grey haired players taking to the field with their younger,
but not necessarily fitter, team-mates. (Pictured above)
- Sailing takes place on most Saturdays at Muri Lagoon mainly using Sunbursts (and
Optimists for junior sailors). A fire gutted the Club headquarters last year taking a
large number of boats and sails with it but the club continues and is planning to rebuild.
Visiting sailors are welcome.
- There are two squash courts, Rarotonga Squash Club in Avarua behind St Joseph's
Cathedral, and the Edgewater Resort Squash Centre.
- At the RSC court hire is $5 for 45 minutes. Racquet hire can be arranged.
- At the Edgewater Resort Squash Centre bookings are essential. Either phone (25-437) or
call in to see whether a court is free.
- Court hire is $5 for 45 minutes with a total of four courts to choose from. Squash
rackets hire is $3 each with the use of one ball.
- There are also toilet and shower facilities available.
- The Cook Islands Open Squash Champs take place in October each year. (22 - 27 October
this year). Overseas entries are welcome for this event.
- Tennis lessons are available at the Edgewater Resort Hotel Tennis Courts. Cost $25 per
hour with Malcom Kajer as instructor.
- Court hire is $15 an hour with racket rentals at $5 per racket which includes the use of
- Balls can be brought from the tennis courts in a can of 3 for $14.
- The courts are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Night games also available at $15 per hour plus an extra $10 for the use of floodlights.
- Bookings are essential for all services at the court.