Athletics Cook Islands is seeking to further grow the sport with the announcement of a new athletics development officer.
Current secretary Ruth Mave has taken up the role, which centres around developing participation from all ages and abilities across the country.
Mave will be joined by current Olympian Alex Beddoes, as well as Nelson Tangaroa and Tikove Piira who have both also represented the Cook Islands on the international stage in the last few years.
Athletics Cook Islands president Erin Quirke said the federations are focusing on grassroots domestic growth in the current global Covid-19 pandemic, with the athletics development officer team working to deliver a programme alongside schools and the wider community starting this term.
“Setting up this athletics development officer structure means we have the manpower and enthusiasm to grow. We are blessed to have a team of four who bring diverse skills and experience among them as a group,” she said.
“We as a federation are grateful for funding from World Athletics that allows us to deliver these programmes from our team throughout the Cook Islands.”
With a degree in Physical Education from Otago University as well as experience as both a coach and masters athlete, Mave is looking forward to helping athletes achieve their potential.
“Athletics is a sport for life. We have seen during this pandemic, more people globally have taken to athletics to improve their health and fitness,” Mave said.
“As a world federation the focus is to include the whole community to be a part of the sport as an athlete, coach, official, volunteer or simply a supporter and as the development officer I wish to see this emulated here in the Cook Islands.”
With travel largely restricted within Cook Islands, Mave and her team are hoping to provide online resources to the Pa Enua.
“The team will support the outer islands athletics associations via the internet as much as possible. In particular, the release of online basic coaching and official certifications will be distributed,” she said.
“With the Cook Islands Games to be held in October, the athletics development officer team will meet with these associations for skills transfer so that the island teams are well prepared.”
Next up on the athletics calendar is the National Youth Championships for secondary aged athletes on August 28, before the Round Rarotonga Road Race in September.