Cook Islands team to the Pacific Games 2023 in Honiara, Solomon Islands this year is looking to increase their medal tally.
The team had achieved 18 medals in Samoa in 2019 and this
year they are looking to surpass that with at least 25 medals.
Chef de Mission, Mark Short said: “On one side, we are
hoping that we can increase our medal count. On the other side we are also
hoping to provide exposure to the younger athletes that have an interest in
He said they are also hoping the Pacific Games will be an eye opener for the younger athletes and help them grow in their sporting career.
More than 200 athletes and officials will represent team
Cook Islands in November.
The team is expected to depart on November 10, while some
who are training abroad will depart Australia and New Zealand earlier.
He said for the games, this year Team Cook Islands does
not have a bowling team because this depends on the host country.
“Whichever country hosts the sports decides on what codes
will be played. So they don't have bowling, so there’s no bowling team this
Short said at the moment they have been preparing
extremely hard to take the team to the Solomon Islands.
“You will probably notice that a lot of the different
Federations have been fundraising. Often on Saturdays, you'll see them washing
cars, raffle tickets and my heart goes out to them because it is extremely
difficult, especially trying to find our way to the Solomon Islands.”
He said the federations have been fundraising a lot for
resources such as playing uniforms, first aid kits, the physios and the
He said so far they are going through the accreditation
process as they want to limit or reduce the possibility of other countries
protesting against Cook Islands athletes.
“So we have to ensure that we have the background
information on them. What is their connection to the Cook Islands, the
genealogy, the passport, residence? So there's a lot of work behind the scenes
that a lot of the staff at Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic
Committee (CISNOC) are doing.”
CISNOC is also organising a church service for the whole
team, a marae visit for cultural blessing and uniform blessings revealing a lot
of the new uniforms.
Meanwhile, athletes include:
Michael Schuster and Tawhiri Toheriri Hallet.
Atiu, Lanihei Connolly, Kirsten Fisher-Marsters and Wesley Roberts.
Jerome Tura, Tehei Napa
Alex Beddoes, Ana Ellison Lupena,Daniel Tolosa, Estelle Short, Max Teururaa,
PiritauNga, Rupeni Mataitoga, Tatiana Sherwin and Willyn Karina.
Team sports are: basketball (5X5 women), (men and women 3X3), beach volleyball (men) and Football (men and women) golf (men and women), Netball (women) Oe Vaka (men and women), Rugby 9’s (men and women, rugby 7’s (men and women), tennis (men and women) and touch rugby (men and women, who will also form a mixed team).