Training is underway for the AIMS Games in Tauranga this year. Coach Johnny Taulu has already selected 12 students to travel to New Zealand for the annual sporting event.
And this term, to introduce more kids to the sport, they are focusing on students in classes from years 7 to 10, from eight different schools.
Cook Islands Badminton president Thomas Ngauru says the interest has been overwhelming with a lot more children wanting to learn the sport: the kids are surprised at how easy it is to learn and can't wait for their next session.
The college badminton tournament, which will be held on June 11 and 12 at the national auditorium, has also created a lot of interest from students with 7 schools competing.
The schools participating are Tereora College, Titikaveka College, Nukutere College, Apii Avarua, Apii Nikao, Imanuela Akatemia and Papaaroa School.
“We have five weeks of lessons delivered to all schools in preparation for the tournament,” says Ngauru. “Badminton Cook Islands volunteers also assist to deliver this programme every year.”
This is the fifth annual badminton programme and tournament, sponsored by CITC, Avarua Bakery, Edgewater Resort and the Bank of the Cook Islands.
Every Monday there are after-school badminton games held at St Joseph’s Hall from 3:30pm for children of all ages. Children are welcome to join in for free.