More Top Stories


Nines in Paradise thrills

9 January 2024


The year in sports 2023

31 December 2023


2023 year in review

31 December 2023

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Event organisers prepare for Liftoff

Thursday 11 August 2022 | Written by Sian Solomon | Published in Sports


Event organisers prepare for Liftoff
A team from last year battle’s it out on the beach. PHOTO: ISLAND LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY

Event organisers are gearing up for this year’s Aitutaki Liftoff event, which is a functional fitness festival that will test athletes’ strength, speed and endurance at the end of the month.

The event to be held over two days will kick off on Friday, August 26 with an individual weightlifting event, followed by a four-person team challenge event on Saturday down at Ootu beach.

The team challenge will be followed by a prize-giving event, with competitors enjoying a lagoon cruise on Sunday, which is part of the festival’s final wrap-up.

According to Aitutaki Liftoff organiser Dani Adendorff, over 40 individuals have registered for the event already, with a few more teams expected to slip in before registration closes on Monday, August 15.

“We have a healthy mix of teams, from complete novices to advanced athletes,” said Adendorff.

“The local youth of Aitutaki has also been a new focus for our 2022 event, and we are excited to see some young locals coming through the ranks and getting amongst the action this year.

“(Also) we are excited to welcome some international competitors in 2022,” she added. “With a number of individuals travelling from New Zealand to compete in both the weightlifting and team challenge events over the weekend.”

Apart from the introduction of a new youth category, Adendorff said this year’s event will also include a strong focus on bringing local Cook Islands culture to life.

She added that in addition, it will also involve a Vaka sprint race on the Aitutaki lagoon, with an island night and live music and dancing at the prize-giving. 

“We are excited to be hosting our prize-giving event at the iconic Blue Lagoon Restaurant at Aitutaki Village, which will include a delicious buffet and Island night show for our competitors,” Adendorff said.

“Without the generosity and support from our sponsors, we would not be able to deliver an event of this calibre, so we are incredibly grateful for their ongoing support to promote health and wellness in the Pa Enua.

“(Also) we believe getting kids active is vital to encourage a healthy relationship with health and fitness, from a young age,” she added.

“We aim to produce an event that has a strong local flavour, but is of an international standard … and hope to see a number of corporate teams register this year, as we recognise the emergence and importance of corporate wellness in our current day and age.”