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Opinion

Timely support for athletics events

Friday 26 August 2022 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Athletics, Sports

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Timely support for athletics events
Simone Fe’ao from Athletics Cook Islands and BCI CEO Vaine Nooana celebrate another year of sponsorship for the BCI Youth Athletics Championship. SUPPLIED/22082509

Local companies CITC and Bank of Cook Islands have jumped on board to support school athletic competitions.

CITC has jumped on board to support the CITC Prince of Wales Primary School Athletics Championships for another five years.

The sponsorship means CITC now has naming rights for the competition which will be held next month at the National Stadium in Nikao.

General manager Gaye Whitta said the ongoing sponsorship meant teachers could focus on training their children without having to worry about the event logistics.

“It’s really focused on the kids getting active, getting out. It’s a historical event, I know as a kid I always looked forward to it,” Whitta said.

“We are really looking forward to the next five years and working with CISNOC (Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee).”

Whitta said it was important to ingrain in children at a young age that keeping active was important.

“Getting outside, getting away from their phones and indoor activities. I think you’ve got to start at that young age.

“If you get in at that grassroots, it’s going to hopefully take it to that next level.”

Simone Fe’ao, president of Athletics Cook Islands, said it was great to solidify CITC’s support.

“What that means is we don’t have to worry about the financial support for this event and it can carry on for the many, many years that it already has.”

Fe’ao said schools could put their focus on getting children prepared and excited about athletics.

“Athletics may not be something that carries on as a career but it is good for children to explore the different opportunities available for them and give it a go.

“That’s what it’s about, to have everyone give it a go.”

Bank of Cook Islands (BCI) has continued sponsoring BCI National Youth Athletics Championships.

Fe’ao said the sponsorship made sure the event was professional and athletes had everything they needed.

“BCI comes on board not only with underwriting the administrative costs but also providing some prizes for those that do well.”

Fe’ao said the event was more serious than CITC Prince of Wales.

“It’s kind of a pathway for us, CITC Prince of Wales then BCI Youth Athletics, at that level we are identifying people for international and regional competition opportunities.”

BCI chief executive officer Vaine Nooana said: “It’s extremely honouring for BCI to sponsor the BCI Youth Athletics Championship, an event that’s grown from strength to strength.”

“We will continue to support our youth in these national events that are a stepping stone to regional events and from there we hope they go on to conquer the world.”

The BCI Youth Athletics Championship is happening on September 2. CITC Prince of Wales Primary School Athletics Championships is on September 13 and 14.