Howard, who holds New Zealand amateur ranking of 13, has been a dedicated golfer for most of his life, always achieving at a high level.
Following on from a silver medal at the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea, Howard took his game to a new level in 2016/2017, recording some impressive results and representing the Cook Islands with distinction.
Lately, he has earned world ranking points against top Australian and New Zealand competitors in the Australian Masters of the Amateurs tournament and the Lake Macquarie International Championship.
Moving into the New Zealand circuit, Howard’s form continued with a 4th placing in the Auckland Anniversary Tournament, and an 8th in the Grant Clements Memorial Tournament.
He is the current Rarotonga Amateur Open men’s champion, having won the tournament in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Team Cook Islands chef de mission Robert Graham spoke highly of Howard, saying he highly deserved the opportunity as flagbearer at this year’s Mini Games.
“We are honoured to announce that young William Howard would lead Team Cook Islands in at the opening ceremony.”
Team Cook Islands is made up of 22 athletes, start with their competition tomorrow (CI time).
“Our first competition starts on Wednesday (Tuesday in Cook Islands) with weightlifting in the evening, but there is also beach volleyball throughout the day,” Graham said.
“The beach volleyball will start off with the Commonwealth qualifiers first, which will lead into the Mini Games competition.
“Our two boys set for the Mini Games will be Daniel Heath and Morgan Faireka. The pair have been playing for the past few months in New Zealand and are looking promising.”
Weightlifters Luisa Peters and Philippa Woonton will compete today too, and Graham said he hopes to see good results from both athletes.
“Our golfers also start on Wednesday, and this new format of having under 18 male and females as part of the team is a good combination for games and for our region.
“Again, our golfers are looking good out there and they have a proper feel for the course and enjoyed their hit and trail run.
“They will be out there again tomorrow as their last day before competition starts on Wednesday.
“As chef de mission I am happy with the team, and hope to see better results throughout the competition.
“Here in Vanuatu we are all keeping a positive attitude towards the games, and hope all our supporters are doing the same.”