Although one guest’s claims that there were 300 members of the Takuvaine community present may have been slightly exaggerated, the strong gathering was nonetheless a positive sign for a club that has struggled over the past couple of years.
Prior to the blessing performed by Reverend Vaka Ngaro, TKV rugby league president Nooroa Roi made an impassioned plea to potential sponsors, saying that they should make themselves known if they wanted to get involved.
Takuvaine MP Mark Brown followed, and hinted to new coach Nia Petero that he is ready and willing if called upon.
Ngaro then blessed the uniforms, which Petero said was to acknowledge the sponsors that had made the uniforms possible for both the premier and reserve grade teams.
“We wanted everyone from the community to be involved, and as you can see, it’s good to know that’s the case,” Petero said.
“We’re honoured to have this many people here to witness the blessing of the uniforms.”
Although he is a rookie on the Rarotongan coaching scene, Petero has over 15 years’ experience coaching at a variety of levels in New Zealand and said that fans can expect a new flavour this year.
“We’re in the development stages. But Takuvaine fans can expect a different style of play this year.
“We plan to change a few things from how they’ve been playing over the past few years, so hopefully that works for us.”
He said that having the backing of the community was incredibly important, and said it was a big morale boost to see supporters at training sessions.
Although he was raised in Avatiu, he said that there were no teams he was especially looking forward to playing, although he did joke that his wife would be his toughest opponent this season.
Petero also gave a big meitaki ma’ata to Rarotonga Brewery and Raro Fried Chicken for their support.