Brendan Smith, whose brother Francis will be playing in the famous competition, said that the incentive was to give the team a bit of money.
“They’re doing it for the love of the game, and this was to help cover their expenses,” Smith said.
The money was raised in last week’s quick fire 100 Club raffle, with the prize being a VIP lunch in Aitutaki for six.
Sponsored by Pacific Resort Aitutaki, the prize also included a round-trip private jet charter and Koru Club hospitality on departure provided by Air New Zealand.
“Air Rarotonga, along with our co-sponsors Pacific Resorts and Air New Zealand, are proud to assist our national team on their journey to the Hong Kong sevens, where they will be playing in a world-class competition,” Air Rarotonga managing director Ewan Smith said at Wednesday’s presentation.
“Our best wishes go with them, along with those of the people of the Cook Islands.”
Brendan Smith also mentioned that the team will be hosted for dinner by a large contingent of Cook Islanders that reside in the Asian territory.
“They’re showing they support the team, and I’m sure that they’ll all be decked out in the Cook Islands colours,” Smith said.
“This puts our little Cook Islands on the map, because the last time they were there was four years ago.”
The Cook Islands men’s side qualified for the Hong Kong Sevens after finishing sixth in the Oceania Sevens Championship in Fiji last weekend.
The tournament, known as ‘the spiritual home of sevens’ begins next Thursday, April 5 (CI time).
The Cook Islands team will be competing in Pool G, alongside Ireland, Jamaica and Uruguay.