Marsters will represent Palmerston Lucky School in badminton.
He attends school on Palmerston, but has been on Rarotonga for the past two months preparing for the competition alongside 16 other players from schools around the island.
It will be the first time a student from the outer islands – let alone from Palmerston, has competed at this event and if all goes according to plan, it won’t be the last.
Ray first picked up a badminton racquet four years ago during a visit to Rarotonga and has returned to the courts on every visit since then. He has been training on a homemade outdoor court outside his home on Palmerston with the help of his uncles since making the team in February this year. He says it was not easy to keep motivated but he managed to stay focused and is excited to be less than a week away from departure.
He admits that he’s feeling the pressure and is nervous about playing in front of big crowds but he wants to do well and make his school and family proud.
Ray will compete in singles and will pair up with Avarua School’s Setephano Vakatini in the doubles competition. Even though they’ve only had two months to train together, they have grown to become quite a formidable pair and some exciting results can be expected from them.
Earlier this month Cook Islands Badminton tutors delivered “ShuttleTime” classes to teachers and students from the Northern Group while the youngsters were here for the Maeva Nui celebrations. “The school badminton programme is about teaching students’ basic badminton skills and hopefully one day we will have representatives from these schools in the future,” a Cook Islands Badminton spokesman said.
“Cook Islands Badminton would like to thank all the families and friends who have supported our campaign to the AIMS Games. A special thank you to Prime Foods for their Saturday morning Hotplate initiative which helped raise the funds needed - not just for badminton but for other organisations and causes.”
Those who would like to follow Rays progress can do so on the Badminton Cook Islands Facebook page or for further information contact Hebrew Tom on 75215.