Cook Islanders Paul Lynch and wife Shona (middle) with another Cook Islands supporter poses with Commonwealth Games mascot, Perry the Bull, in Birmingham. Photo: SUPPLIED/22080103
Cook Islander Paul Lynch and his wife Shona, who are in Birmingham, United Kingdom to support Team Cook Islands competing at the Commonwealth Games, are in awe at the spectacle created by the Games held every four years.
The couple is looking forward to the weightlifting event on Wednesday where their daughter and Cook Islands’ lone weightlifter Manine Lynch, 23, will compete.
arrived in Birmingham over the weekend and found the 2022 Commonwealth Games “very
welcoming and organised across multiple venues and sports”.
is a big fan buzz now across the whole country, with Games fan zones set up in
other large cities including the capital and largest city of London. Birmingham
is the next largest city and is known as a ‘hard working city’ but has recently
opened its heart and welcomed thousands of national and overseas athletes,
teams, supporters and fans with huge genuine smiles for these 2022 Commonwealth
Games,” Paul told Cook Islands News.
of CWG merchandise are huge with new apparel and souvenirs flying off the
shelves in stores throughout Birmingham city. Most tickets to watch for the
different sports are sold out and the city’s streets are full of people and volunteers
in bright national colours and supporters gear.
eye-catching national colours always turn heads and start conversations with
visitors and local Birmingham people who are called ‘Brums’. With the friendly
first question usually ‘Where are the Cook Islands?’.”
army of friendly Games volunteers are always on hand and helpful to answer
questions on where things are and how to get there, shares Paul.
hundreds of English people selected as Games volunteers are all different ages,
races and colours and are all genuinely happy and interested to meet and assist
all the people visiting their country for the Games.
of these volunteer hosts are retired and come from other places around
couple booked seat tickets to watch and support the national lawn bowlers early
are very excited to wave our national flag in support in the stands,” Paul
on Wednesday, August 3 at 2pm (Birmingham time), we have seat tickets for the
Commonwealth Games weightlifting competition to support our sole Cook Islands
Weightlifting athlete, our 23-year-old daughter, Manine Lynch from Ngatangiia.
were able to meet Manine briefly on Monday afternoon, after one of her final,
intense training sessions at the NEC, the National Events Centre, which is also
the venue for the weightlifting competition. Her experienced coach, former
Olympian, Luisa Peters has kept Manine focused on the huge and exciting task at
hand and appreciate the wonderful opportunity and support from everyone back in
the Cook Islands and elsewhere too.”