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.
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
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
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
“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.”