The product of hard work on the part of Erin Tierney and her committee came together with secondary students from Tereora, Nukutere, Papaaroa and Titikavekea College competing against students from Mangaia, Mitiario, Aitutaki, Atiu and Mauke at the National Stadium.
On Friday, Tierney described how relaxed the day’s competition had been.
“It has all come together really nicely, I am very grateful for the help of a number of volunteers who came down here today and helped the day run smoothly.
“Patty (current Cook Islands sprinter Patricia Taea) was such a standout with our starts. Having her here with her experience and expertise from her time at events like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics has added to the value of our competition immensely.”
The day saw a number of top performances recognised, with prizes handed out for high performance and for both track and field event wins.
The “Ake Hosea Good Sportsmanship Award” was also presented, as a way of honouring the memory of the passionate athletics coach. It was awarded to two athletes who displayed the qualities of fair play, respect for opponents, polite behaviour and graciousness in winning or losing. Tearoa Rouru and Rave Tuaiti were each given this honour at the conclusion of Friday’s event.
Tereora teacher Thomas Henderson led his students on Friday but also had under his wing athletes from Nukutere College who he has been coaching as part of sessions with the Track and Field Rarotonga Club.
“From a Tereora point of a view it has been a great opportunity for our students to mark up against their peers at a national level, which is something that has been lacking from the athletics calendar for some time,” he said.
“They have been able to showcase their skills to the wider community and show that they are part of a wider talented group of athletes that we should be developing.”
Four athletes who he has coached for the past few months all had strong performances.
“I was very impressed with the way Nelson (Tangaroa) approached his 200m and 400m races and showed a real tenacity to not give up, which was very pleasing.
“TK (Terry Akava) showed that he is certainly one of our up-and-coming athletes and continues to improve in each race he takes part in. (This) shows his dedication and commitment to the sport which as a coach, is what you want from your athletes. The fact that he ran a personal best in both the 100 and 200m races is a testament to him and his training.
“Abby Barrett did a personal best in her 800m race and has shown real progress throughout the season.
“Jallie Takairangi ran a strong time in his 100m race, despite having had a niggling calf injury for the past week and now it will be how well he can bounce back from that disappointment and learn for future events.”
A number of athletes showed potential and will be putting up their hands to represent the Cook Islands at the Polynesian Cup in Tahiti in November, as well as the New Zealand Secondary Schools meet in December.
Tierney thanked the event’s sponsors including Kaylene Morehu, Air Rarotonga, Vonnia’s, Tile Centre, Prime Foods, Mareko’s Store, Koka Tours, KiteSUP, BlueSky, Bank of the Cook Islands, Ministry of Culture, CIIC and CISNOC.
- Jaimie Keay
Junior boys high performance – Daniel Tolosa. Junior girls high performance – Estelle Short. Intermediate boys high performance – Nathan Navou, Intermediate girls high performance – Pareina Vaevaemaki. Senior boys high performance – Nelson Tangaroa, senior girls high performance – Kuini Manning. Female distance runner – Penine Katuke, Female thrower – Tamira Metuangaro, Female jumper – Kaia Dearlove, Female sprint, Mimou Tom, Multi events female – Jordayne Matutu. Male distance runner – Maui Tatum, Male thrower – Elijah Poila, Male jumper – Vaeruarangi Papera, Male sprint – Terry Akava, Multi events male – Mason Tapoki.