Leading the development of weightlifting

Friday 15 January 2021 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Other Sports, Sports

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Leading the development of weightlifting
Dani Adendorff, the creator of Aitutaki-based fitness group Araura FuncFit, is leading the development of the sport on the island. SUPPLIED/21011413

Weightlifting has gained momentum on the island of Aitutaki with a number of rookies excited to learn the sport.

Dani Adendorff, the creator of Aitutaki-based fitness group Araura FuncFit, is leading the development of weightlifting on the island.

 Adendorff, who represented Aitutaki in weightlifting and other sports at the Cook Islands Games 2020, said the event inspired members in her fitness group to try out the sport.

She approached Cook Islands Weightlifting Federation’s Dr Teariki Puni and Geoffrey Halston for assistance in sourcing some much needed equipment to make this vision a reality.

“As the Cook Islands Games took place in October, and weightlifting proved to be a very popular code, there was an immediate interest amongst our members to try their hand at weightlifting,” Adendorff said.

“They (Dr Teariki Puni and Geoffrey Halston) kindly coordinated an agreement with the Cook Islands Weightlifting Federation, who have generously sponsored some great gear for us to develop weightlifting in the Pa Enua.”

Adendorff said they have a humble set up “hosting our sessions outdoors on the grass amongst the chickens and the coconut trees”.

“But our members are determined, committed and consistent, and sometimes that’s all you need to make great things happen!

“We currently run four lifting classes a week and the interest is growing with each new week.

“We hope to acquire a formal training facility in the near future, but for now, we are enjoying our beautiful outdoor backdrop here in paradise!”

Adendorff says there is some real talent on the island and she is grateful to have the opportunity to help to develop the sport of weightlifting in Araura and beyond.

She formed Araura FuncFit early last year.

“After moving to Aitutaki in March, it became evident to me that the community needed a formalised platform to develop their health and fitness.

“Aitutakians are passionate about their rugby and netball, but fall short when it comes to having a platform to facilitate their training and to develop their athletic abilities.

“Then there’s the ever-prevailing challenge to combat non-communicable diseases in the Cook Islands, which was also another huge motivator for me to do my part to get the local community moving.

“With these two factors in mind, I started a functional fitness training group in June 2020 ‘Araura FuncFit’.”

The youngest member of the group is 11 years old and the oldest is 76 years old.

Adendorff said their message “is that fitness is for everyone, of any age!”.

“I quickly saw the incredible potential and talent that existed amongst our locals.”