Just over 300 athletes will represent Team Palmerston in 20 sports codes at this year’s Cook Islands Games starting tomorrow.
Team official Edith Nicholas doesn’t mince her words when talking about what the team’s goal is.
“We have 20 sports on our shoulders and we intend to take all medals up,” she says.
The ambitious target has been set on the back of weeks of training and preparation. Most of the athletes are competing in more than one discipline.
Nicholas said their preparations have been full of challenges.
“Having training venues available to us has been challenging and time consuming when you are rushing from work or school/home to the fields. But we have been very fortunate to work with other islands in sharing the training courts and fields. Lucky for our teams on water, we have the biggest training space to work with,” she said.
“We have dreamt of this day, coming together in unity. Our elders are very much overwhelmed and proud that we chose Palmerston over other islands we have connections with.”
Palmerston’s participation would not have been possible without the support, especially from the mamas and papas.
“Our utmost respect, honour and greatest appreciation to Sir Tom and Lady Tuaine Marsters for reviving our ‘Marsters legacy in sports’. If not for Papa Tom’s staunch influence and obvious passion for sports, we would not have made this far. This demonstrates what a great warrior he is to his family.”
Nicholas said they are born achievers and “we are ready so when the flag is up, the war is on”.
“All the best to our competing athletes and officials during these Games. Once again Sir Tom and Lady Tuaine Marsters, our Government for your amazing support and our Member of Parliament for RAPPA Albert Nicholas for your continuous support.
“The support has been so overwhelming and humbling. Our families from abroad – Australia, New Zealand, Aitutaki, Palmerston and home here in Rarotonga have given so graciously through donated funds, resource and equipment, food donations and in-kind support.
“With a team of very skilful and very determined drivers, our fundraising projects have been achievable to date. And we intend to fundraise until the flag goes up.”
Team Palmerston will hold its final fundraiser – selling smoked parrot fish plate at $12 each – at Marsters House from 8am today.
“We wish our bowling team all the very best for today’s games.”