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Apii Avarua eyes 13th consecutive Prince of Wales Athletics title

Tuesday 26 September 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Athletics, Sports


Apii Avarua eyes 13th consecutive Prince of Wales Athletics title
Apii Avarua students receive the overall CITC Prince of Wales Championship title from King’s Representative Sir Tom Marsters at the National Stadium in Nikao last year. Picture: CALEB FOTHERINGHAM/22091421

Primary schools on Rarotonga have been training athletes for the past few weeks in preparation for the biggest sports competition on the island, the annual 2023 CITC Prince of Wales Primary School Championships, which begins today, Tuesday, at 3pm.

Over 650 athletes will be competing in the two-day event which starts today at the National Stadium with the “Twilight Session” opening, and the full day programme tomorrow.

Last year, Apii Avarua defended the CITC Prince of Wales Primary School Athletics Championships, with St. Joseph's School finishing in second place and Apii Nikao coming in third.

Apii Avarua has held the coveted shield for the past 12 years.

School principal Engia Baxter said: “We are going into this year hoping to win the shield for the 13th time to retain the trophy.”

“We train and prepare our children well for this event. Our children perform their best, also representing their parents and our community.”

Former Cook Islands sprinter Patty Taea, who is the event manager, said 100 officials will be involved in officiating the championships over the two days.

“We are looking forward to another successful event and seeing the kids participate and keeping active,” said Teaea.

A free breakfast for athletes only will be served at the stadium at 7am tomorrow, Wednesday, courtesy of CITC.

Taea would like to remind parents and guardians to ensure their kids have water, hat, sunscreen and socks or shoes.

Today’s programme is as follows: 3pm - Welcome ceremony, note Junior will not compete today; 3.15pm Intermediate - Long Jump Boys/ Girls, Seniors - 800m; 3.30pm Intermediate - 800m, Seniors - High Jump/Girls and Discuss Boys; 3.45pm Shot Put Girls; 4.15pm  Discus Boys the last event of the day.

The programme for tomorrow Wednesday 27 September: 7am Free CITC breakfast for champions “athletes only”, 7.30am Officials briefing; 8.30am Opening ceremony; 9.15am competitions will start and continue throughout the day. The prizegiving ceremony is expected to start around 2.30pm.