The Physical Training Instructor has just returned home from taking part in a gruelling course run by the New Zealand Defence Force.
“We were training pretty much from 6am to 5pm every day. It was full-on training,” he said.
Kirikava, who is also IT Manager at Police National Headquarters, shed an impressive 15kg during the course, despite finding the time to put away plenty of burgers at McDonald’s.
He was joined by 11 Kiwi police officers and another from Tonga, who trained at the Woodbourne Air Base near Blenheim.
The group spent the entire six weeks running about 20km per day, doing circuits, taking part in triathlons and dragging around logs and tyres.
Unsurprisingly, Kirikava reckons he’s come home in the best shape of his life.
“It’s probably the hardest course I’ve ever done.”
The Physical Training Instructor’s Course placed a heavy emphasis on punctuality and strict discipline, he said.
“There was no room for being late to anything. If you were late, you’d get a really good thrashing – half an hour of sprints or something.”
A big part of the course involved learning about how the body reacts to rigorous training and how to prevent injuries.
The participants also learnt water lifesaving skills, in which Kirikava achieved a Bronze Award.
Kirikava said he is now keen to put his new skills into practice by implementing fitness programs for his police colleagues.
Expect to see groups of police officers out running the streets, he said.
Asked whether his peers would be able to handle his own tough training regime, he replied, “We’re about to find out but we’ll start off easy and build it up.”
Kirikava’s training was organised by Tony Francis, a member of the New Zealand Navy and Technical Advisor to the Cook Islands Maritime Police.
“As part of my role, I have a list of courses we can put forward. The Commissioner asks for someone to attend and I do all the paperwork.”
Francis said Kirikava’s training was funded by the New Zealand Defence Force’s Mutual Assistance Programme.