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Community cheers as Rising Stars take the field in netball and rugby

Saturday 25 May 2024 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Other Sports, Sports

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Community cheers as Rising Stars take the field in netball and rugby
Netball players in action at round one of the Rising Stars Championship. SOLOMONE TAUKEI / 24052459 / 24052461

The annual Rising Stars Championship started yesterday with students from Rarotonga competing in the rugby and netball competitions at Raemaru Park in Arorangi.

A total of 60 teams are registered with almost 600 players competing for the top spot and sponsored prizes.

Tournament director Jackie Rongo said the ninth edition of the tournament will see six weeks of competition featuring secondary and primary schools alongside new registered teams.

At the opening of the tournament yesterday, Rongo reminded the students that they were representing their school in their colours, wearing Rising Stars uniforms.

She also reminded them to be better versions of themselves.

“Stay away from smoking, vaping, drinking alcohol, and doing illegal drugs. Aim to be a high-performance athlete. Doing that stuff will take you down a pathway you don’t want to go. So, if you see your friend’s vaping, elbow them and call them out. Tell them it’s bad for them,” she advised the students.

The tournament is supported by platinum sponsors Vodafone and Bank of the Cook Islands and many generous supporting partners.

Tofiga Injimo, project manager at Vodafone Cook Islands, said as a platinum sponsor of the event for the past nine years, Vodafone was thrilled to see enthusiastic faces ready to showcase their talents and passion for sports.

Injimo said they were proud to be part of an event that brought together a diverse and dynamic group of young athletes.

He encouraged everyone to appreciate the power of community, the joy of competition, and the incredible potential within each participant and cheer each other on, respect one another, and have fun!

“Remember that while winning is an admirable goal, the true victory lies in the journey, the friendships you forge, the lessons you learn, and the person you become through it all.”

BCI’s Awhitia Pepe said they believe in the power of sports to inspire, unite, and to transform lives just as it was in 2016 when the championship started and BCI was the first major sponsor.

“Sports teach us invaluable lessons – the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and the thrill of pushing our limits. These are not just skills for the game; they are skills for life.”

She advised the students to play with passion, play with purpose, and play to the best of their ability, knowing that they have an entire community supporting them.

The results of round one matches were not available when this edition went to print last night.