Tamaiva Mateariki vies for possession in the mixed netball competition at last month's Cook Islands Games 2020. PHOTO: Losirene Lacanivalu / 20101919
Island pride and local support drew out new players during Cook Islands Games 2020. The challenge now is to develop talent for the national team.
One of Netball Cook Islands’ aims in the future is to work
towards a 100 per cent local representation in the national teams, says the
Netball Cook Islands president Mii Maui.
Maui says: “The key to this happening though would require
full commitment to pathways from all parties; Netball Cook Islands,
Member/Clubs, and local players.”
It was during the Cook Islands Games 2020 that the Cook
Islands Netball Committee spotted potential future stars for the national team.
“We have a lot of potential future stars for Cook Islands.
There were the known ones who are already identified and in the current talent
pool for Netball Cook Islands both senior and future stars.
“However, a highlight for Netball Cook Islands during these
games was how the island pride and support drew out additional players who we
would not normally see within the local club competitions.”
Maui said the northern group teams brought fun and laughter
to the games and she believes this is where “participation numbers” would have
increased in terms of non-netballers taking the court - this was seen in all
categories including some of the Southern Group teams.
“You could say when watching the games, it seemed like the
humble, let’s just play northern group teams vs the competitive and aggressive
southern group teams so a good mix of games was on display.”
She said the Cook Islands Games highlights some internal
work for Netball Cook Islands to do, that is to engage with the Outer Islands
Netball Associations/Clubs both Northern and Southern Group, and to start the
process of registering their members and players with Netball Cook Islands.
The Netball Committee is happy with the success of the Cook
Islands Games and the Netball Competition itself and thanks the Minister for
Sport Vaine Mac Mokoroa, President of CISNOC Hugh Graham, Secretary General
Owen Lewis and CISNOC team, the Federations, the sponsors and the islands for
wholeheartedly supporting and getting behind the event.
Netball Cook Islands also acknowledges Pacific Spring Ltd –
Marcel and Madeline Tua as the netball competition was promoted as a “Fizz
Free” competition, and the committee also thanks Pacific Spring Ltd’s
sponsorship of water and ice supply for the duration of the games.
Meanwhile, Maui said at this stage nothing is planned for
the remainder of the year as the Cook Islands Games for Netball Cook Islands
was the replacement for the cancelled annual event (due to Covid/travel
This year would have been the ninth BSP Netball In Paradise
games which runs over five days in December whereby up to 40 teams from New
Zealand, Australia and the local teams are a part of.
However, she says that the committee is quite equipped and
ready to be able put on a local competition over the next months, should there
be a call for it from the netball community.
Netball Cook Islands’ priority now is to get ahead in the
planning of their calendar of events for 2021, and this includes the delivery
of the PSP NetGo - Foundation Coaching Programme to the Outer Islands.
Maui said this programme is open to anyone interested or
keen to develop themselves to becoming a coach, and Netball Cook Islands is
looking forward to delivering this part of its calendar.
“Could be the space to watch out for come next games!”