Brush with law nearly dashed dreams

Saturday September 07, 2019 Written by Published in Other Sports
Probationary constable Luisa Peters covered in flowers from loved ones as a show of pride for the young woman’s hard work in successfully graduating the police force yesterday. From lifting the weight of the nation on her shoulders as the first Cook Islands female weightlifter reaching the Olympics to now being part of the solution and prevention of youth crime in our community.   19090633 / MATARIKI WILSON Probationary constable Luisa Peters covered in flowers from loved ones as a show of pride for the young woman’s hard work in successfully graduating the police force yesterday. From lifting the weight of the nation on her shoulders as the first Cook Islands female weightlifter reaching the Olympics to now being part of the solution and prevention of youth crime in our community. 19090633 / MATARIKI WILSON

Probationary constable Luisa Peters knows a few things about hard work and pressure having spent the better part of the past decade representing the Cook Islands on the world stage in weightlifting.

 

And she plans to continue this in her new role on the front line of law enforcement.

“Being in the police is something I’ve always wanted to do,” says Luisa in between hugs from family and loved ones.

“And I’m looking forward to working with youth and helping people,” she adds as her colleagues in law offer congratulatory handshakes with the newly graduated probationary constable as part of the Mama Tuki Wright recruit wing.

Being involved in sports and discovered as a weightlifting talent as a 14-year old, Luisa pursued a sporting career that has seen her represent the nation at the regional and international level.

Through hard work at the Oceania Weightlifting Institute in New Caledonia under renowned coach Paul Coffa, Luisa reached the pinnacle of her sport representing the Cook Islands at two Olympic Games and three Commonwealth Games.

Throughout her sporting career Luisa had no time to be on the wrong side of the law and had always maintained the dream of joining the force.

A fleeting brush with the law could have dashed her dreams but instead, continued support from her tight-knit family saw her take the experience as a learning opportunity and insight as she embarks on her new journey.

“My focus is to help our youth, the ones we are seeing in the paper. I want to help give them something better to do,” says Luisa.

She’s under no false pretences that being on the beat will be easy and she believes that lessons learned in her sporting career will help her grown in her new role.

“Just like sports, in policing you need to be mentally fit because we go out into a lot of risky situations as police and like in sports we have to be dedicated and train hard.”

“You know we have so much talent out there among our young people and that’s where I want to work and help youth so they don’t go down the wrong path.”

Prime Minister Henry Puna in his speech to the new recruits commended the four female graduates for being pioneers much like the patron of their wing, businesswoman and disability awareness advocate Mama Tuki Wright.

Being a woman in the male dominated world of weightlifting never seemed to be cause for issue for Luisa who is sure to take the same attitude into what is no doubt to be another challenging journey for the young Cook Islands woman.

With proud family after another smothering Luisa with love and support through ei and hugs, there’s no doubt this youth leader will be part of the solution to reducing youth crime in the community.

In fact, probationary constable Luisa Peters says she wants to be approachable to youth as her goal is simply to help.

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