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Cook Islands receive warm welcome from Frampton on Severn Bowls Club

Tuesday 26 July 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Bowling, Sports

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Cook Islands receive warm welcome from Frampton on Severn Bowls Club
The team from the Cook Islands received a warm welcome from Frampton on Severn Bowls club. Photo: SUPPLIED/22072519

An international bowls team has been preparing to compete in the Commonwealth Games by training at a village club in Gloucestershire.

The Cook Islands’ men’s and women’s teams have been training at Frampton on Severn Bowls Club ahead of the Games being held in Birmingham from 28 July.

Coach, Jason Lindsay, said their time at the club had been a big help.

“A lot of us may not ever get the chance to travel this far again,” he added.

Frampton on Severn bowls member, David Rolls said the club thought it would only be “providing facilities” to the team, but said they ended up providing extra coaching and learning about their culture.

“We’ve been learning how to dance. We’re even going to learn their version of the Haka,” he said.

“It’s been about the camaraderie that’s been developed, the spirit, the friendship. It’s been absolutely wonderful,” he added.

Rolls said everyone at the club would be rooting for them at the Games, with some members keen to travel to Birmingham to support them in person.

Manager of the Cook Islands’ bowls team, Papatua Papatua, thanked the club for its “warmth and support” and that “to win any medals will be a bonus for us”.

“We just have to do our best for our country and our people back home,” he added.

The team includes four members of the same family, with a mother and father and their two daughters set to play together.

Philip Jim, 58, started playing bowls in 1996, with his wife Tai, 57, taking up the sport two years later.

Daughters Emily, 22, and Tiare, 20, have been playing since they were eight years old.

“It’s very comforting to have your parents around,” said Emily.

“We are definitely far from home so it’s really great to have my sister, mum and dad here,” she added.

The Cook Islands is made up of 15 islands in the South Pacific between American Samoa to the west and French Polynesia to the east.

  • Reporting by BBC