Cook Islands News columnist Ruth Mave is keen to bring modern pentathlon to the nation and has set about competing in the sport to get a first-hand taste of what it’s like.
Modern Pentathlon held a festival competition recently and the Cook Islands
were invited to compete.
various reasons I was unable to secure an athlete to send due to school
holidays, mock exams and other sporting commitments so it was suggested that I
compete to learn more about the sport,” Mave said.
the festival was focused on developing grassroots for elite and para athletes.
to Auckland, and on to Hamilton where she had a one-hour lesson in how to hold
the foil and stand in on guard position, and some various lunges for
day she had another lesson on one to one etiquette, and for the first time was
wired up and experienced what it felt like to be stabbed by a pointy stick.
started with a pool swim of 50m then on to three hours of fencing where Mave
had to face 30 opponents, three of whom were blind, and she had to be
cold blustery conditions, she ran 600m twice, shooting at a target two times.
been in a formal swimming event for 24 years or run in a competition for 14
years, Mave decided to enter into the spirit of the competition as an
opportunity to learn.
At the end
of the day she took gold in her age group and third in the female individual
fencing points overall while being the oldest competitor.
Now Mave is keen to bring the sport here.
Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne is the modern pentathlon, an Olympic sport whose
vision and inclusion was by the original father of the modern day Olympics,
Baron Pierre de Coubertin in 1912.
It is based
on a day in the life of a Greek soldier who would jump on his horse to ride
into battle, stop to swim across a river where upon meeting the enemy take to
fighting them off with a sword, and if necessary run after them and shoot them.
the five disciplines, horse riding, swimming, fencing, running and shooting.
believed it would be this event above all others that tested a man’s moral
qualities as much as his physical resources and skills, thereby producing the
ideal complete athlete.
sport was enthusiastically adopted with its inherent demands of courage, co-ordination,
physical fitness, self-discipline and flexibility, in ever changing
American lieutenant later to be the famous WW1 General George S Patton came
fifth in the first ever Olympic modern pentathlon.
has evolved, the horse riding will be removed after the Paris Olympics 2024 and
replaced with an obstacle course similar to an army recruitment theme,
requiring lots of arm swinging through rings, up and over fences, and a wall
Collings as secretary general for Modern Pentathlon New Zealand, and his wife Kaewrutai
who is the President of MPNZ and the vice president of Oceania MP have been
keen to establish the sport in the Cook Islands and approached athletics coach
Mave for interest.
Mave saw an
opportunity to attract young and old back to the track, to run or walk, if there
was a fun side and interest in shooting a laser gun in between.
It is like
a real life version of the online game Assassin Creed.
the Collings couple came to the Cook Islands to introduce the sport with three
open days to try the shooting and learn some basic fencing moves.
gun is police and customs approved.
It is a one
flash laser, so is safer than those used by a lecturer to circle information on
a slide, because it is not a continuous beam.
target is placed 3 metres, 5m and 10m away, and when the laser hits the target
board red lights flash, when the central black circle target is hit, a green
five green lights that need to be reached in order for the runner to move on.
lights are hit, the target will time out at a set time e.g. 50secs then the
athlete can carry on running.
the time spent reaching the five green lights, the less time is added to the
done when the athlete is tired from running so holding the gun steady takes
some skill and fitness to accomplish.
is flexible and multilevel in how many ways it can be set up as a competition.
laser run competitions, only of various run lengths, from where you run, 600m
shoot and repeat this three times, to longer distances and numbers of
repetitions depending on age groups.
is the biathlon of swim and run, triathlon of swim run and shoot, or tethalon
of swim run shoot and fence.
in Oceania, Australia New Zealand and the Cook Islands are registered.
keen to have a competition in the Cooks early next year, “to bring the laser
run in as a fun way to include running walking and essential movement to the
also look at adding the swim discipline and possibly setting up a mock obstacle
course for fun to introduce people of all ages to the sport.
degree in physcial education and a keen interest in Inclusive education Mave said
she is wanting to encourage all abilities to give it a go.
Mave is heading to a world competition in Bali
An open day and
competition will be held on Rarotonga next Februray and anyone interested can
contact Mave for further details at firstname.lastname@example.org