Sydney-based Cook Islanders John and Marie Aitoa, who run a business in Australia, yesterday presented netball gear to the Takuvaine and Ngatangiia netball clubs.
The gear includes playing kits, training kits, netball balls, casual wear, handbags and other items.
John said they were pleased to help the teams in their bid to compete effectively in the domestic competition next year.
Takuvaine received equipment including competition uniforms, training polos and tights, training singlets and casual wear, handbags, a coach’s bag and some custom-made netball balls for their junior and premier teams.
“Actually Tupe approached my wife (Marie) for sponsorship for Takuvaine club. She went and got organised. But during the Easter weekend when I was in Rarotonga, I read in CINews about Ngatangiia team looking for sponsorship,” John said.
“I really felt for June (George) and her team but by then we had already ordered the gear for Takuvaine.
“We just managed to slot in a set for June with the seniors and juniors and also some custom made netball balls for them.”
Ngatangiia is yet to field a premier team in the competition and John said they would help them when they did.
“The reason why I wanted to share this story is to inspire other Cook Islanders living abroad to come forward and help local clubs in whatever way they can.
“Local clubs have limited resources to work with but we can do our bit to help them, especially the younger ones in developing their talent in their respective sports.
“This will eventually help the development of sports in the country.”
Takuvaine senior team skipper Suniela Tom thanked the Aitoa family for their generous support.
She said the assistance would boost their morale in the 2018 competition.
“We had the same uniform for a while and this (sponsorship) will give our girls a big boost and motivate them in the coming season. It will really help develop our team and our village as well,” Tom said.
“We’re looking forward to a great season next year. We had a bit of hiccup at the start of the year but that didn’t stop us. We are short on numbers here, there and everywhere but we managed to get right up there.
“We thank Boss Reinforcement, they also sponsored us a set of uniform last year and we do appreciate all the new gear we have got from them for the next season.”