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Apii Nikao win gold at Aotearoa sports camp

Thursday 24 August 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Badminton, Sports


Apii Nikao win gold at Aotearoa sports camp
Apii Nikao students, teachers and parents at Rarotonga International Airport on Saturday departing for New Zealand. APII NIKAO/23082210

Apii Nikao has been sweeping up gold medals in the five-day Camp Adair student’s badminton competition held this week in Auckland East, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Forty-six Apii Nikao students, staff, parents and anau departed Rarotonga last Saturday, the first international school to be invited to participate in the five-day Camp Adair.

Seven schools from Aotearoa as well as Nikao are staying at the camp site – more than 300 students.

The students were “overwhelmed” at the opening ceremony of the camp, especially by the warm welcome from the schools in Aotearoa.

Principal of Apii Nikao, Michael Mokai who is accompanying the group said Apii Nikao is one of eight schools (seven schools from South and East Auckland) taking part in the camp for Year 1 to Year 8 which is run through the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) and The John Walker Find Your Field of Dreams Foundation Charitable Trust.

“We are very privileged we took up an opportunity that was offered to us initially through Ben Koteka and the Cook Islands Rugby Union,” said Mokai.

“We are the first international overseas school to be offered to attend this camp and through a myriad of different sponsorship the actual camp was provided free for us.”

The students will play 18 different sports, some of which they have never been exposed to before, however, there are some traditional sports like rugby and netball.

“It’s not only a really awesome sporting opportunity but even more so a social and a cultural experience for our tamariki to be around other children the same age from Aotearoa New Zealand.

“A good learning experience in lots of different ways,” said Mokai.

Year 8 student, 12 year Vincent Simpson is participating in badminton, netball, archery, mountain biking, pickle ball, gaga ball, orienteering and tug-o-war.

Simpson said: “I’m very excited because it’s the first sports camp I’ve ever been too and I think everyone is super excited”

Ava Holten, also in Year 8 said, what makes this even more exciting is that we’re the first school in the Cook Islands.

She is competing in netball, lacrosse, basketball, volley ball and tug-o-war events.

Fundraising efforts assisted with the purchase of the team’s uniforms and airfares.

The Apii Nikao badminton champions are: Girls Singles - Terito Napa, Boy’s Singles - Haize Gamez, Boys Doubles - Uhain Gamez and Vincent Simpson, Girls Doubles - Rosa Kureta and Tyla Ngaata, Mixed Doubles - Harold Browne and Amaya Tapuvae, have made their school proud in the early days of competition.

Established in 1913, The Camp Adair (formerly known as the YMCA) is one of Aotearoa’s oldest and largest camps which has provided thousands of Kiwis the opportunity to develop themselves using the great outdoors.

Overlooking the stunning Hunua Ranges Regional Park, YMCA Camp Adair covers 100 acres and includes four self-contained areas that can accommodate a total of 434 people.