Members of the sporting community have voiced concerns about helmets being available for athletes from the Pa Enua who will be travelling to Rarotonga for the Cook Islands Games.
Eleven island teams will be battling it out in 24 sports during the event, which runs from October 3 to 17.
Owen Lewis, secretary general of the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee, said he expects between 150 to 200 athletes from the Pa Enua to travel to Rarotonga to compete in the games.
Of those, roughly 90 athletes will be representing Aitutaki, 60 from Atiu, and a number of athletes from Mangaia.
Cook Islands Police have confirmed the law will be fully enforced as of the beginning of next month after a grace period was extended due to an insufficient supply of helmets.
“Police will be enforcing the law from October 1,” said police spokesperson Trevor Pitt.
“It won’t matter where you come from. If you’re on a motorbike, either as the driver or a passenger, you must wear an approved safety helmet. The penalty is a fine of $250.”
After initial struggles to meet demand and two delays in implementation of the new helmet law, retailers in Rarotonga have received multiple shipments to boost supply, however some styles and sizes remain unavailable at certain outlets.
Owen Lewis said he will be sending out notifications this week to outer island teams to ensure they are on the right side of the law once they arrive in Rarotonga. The Cook Islands Games are being seen as an opportunity to restart local sporting events since the Covid-19 pandemic began earlier this year.
“The Cook Islands Games represents a restart of sport and a celebration of our inclusive society, that bridges community participation and sporting excellence and offers Cook Islanders from all ages, and islands the opportunity to be part of the Cook Islands exciting sporting landscape.”