Cook Islands News profiles two athletes who will be representing the country in paddling for the Pacific Mini Games, which will get underway on June 17.
Age – 37
Village and island – Ruatonga/Avatiu, Rarotonga
What future goals/ambitions you have in the sport? Be a
great ambassador for my country, support develop and inspire others.
What ambitions you have outside of sports (career, education, etc)? Always strive
to be better than your best self.
What you love about your sport? Supports and improve mental health,
lower stress levels, develops and boost self-confidence out in the open sea,
able to meet and develop new contacts, fun and challenging in every level of
competition and generally just like every other water sport – you gain overall
What events and competitions have you competed in? Noumea,
New Caledonia 2011 Pacific Games, IVF Worlds Vaa Championship Tahiti 2018,
Pacific Games Port Moresby PNG 2019, Te Aito Tahiti, Aito Cook Islands, Vaka
Eiva, Cook Island Nationals.
Achievements in the sport (medals, placings, representing the country,
personal bests etc)? 1. V6 Silver Medallist – Pacific Games Noumea NC 2011, 2. V6 Silver
Medallist – Pacific Games Port Moresby PNG 2015, 3. IVF Worlds Vaa Championship
Tahiti 2018 – placed 5th in the V1 Open Womens division, 4. V6 Bronze Medallist
– Pacific Game’s Port Moresby PNG 2019, 5. Top tier - Nationals, Vaka Eiva Cook
What pushed you to compete at international level? The urge
to pursue multiple levels of skills, strength and knowledge in all aspects of
sport and promote Cook Islands culture.
Age – 27
Village and island – Atiu descent
future goals/ambitions you have in the sport? To bring home a medal
from all the prestigious races. Outrigging paddling is not in the Olympics yet
but when it does. A need for a high-performance facility is essential and I
want to be a part of this programme developing myself for racing and if not developing
ambitions you have outside of sports (career, education, etc)? To learn everything and develop
multiple streams of income that require low
you love about your sport? I love the thrill from surfing
Being out on the water you feel
a sense of submissive. You are at the ocean’s discretion but at the same time
you need to be in control and know your limits or push them and suffer the
consequences if any. Being out on the water I get a sense of rejuvenation from
being away from the responsibilities and stress from being on land. The
coordination of the body to perform the paddling stroke, and the timing
involved for each muscle to contract from head to bottom while under physical
stress is a challenging aspect of the sport that I enjoy.
events and competitions have you competed in/what are notable
2008 – 2017 Vaka Eiva, 2011 – Te Aito (Cook Islands), 2011 – Te Aito (Tahiti), 2011
– SPG (New Caledonia), 2011 – Oceania champs (NZ), 2012 – Oceania Champs (Aus),
2012 – Te Aito (Cook Islands), 2013 – Oceania Champs (NZ), 2013 – Australia
youth Olympic festival, 2013 Grand Prix Races (Aus), 2013 – World Championships
(Germany), 2013 – Australian Marathon Nationals, 2013 – Te Aito (Aus), 2013 –
Hamilton Island (Aus), 2013 – Gubbi Gubbi (Aus), 2014 – Oceania Champs (Aus), 2014
Grand Prix Races (Aus), 2014 – Sprint Nationals (Aus), 2014 – Marathon
Nationals (Aus), 2016 – Oceania Champs (Aus), 2019 – Samoa SPG, 2020 – Cook
SPG – bronze medal in 500m V1 and bronze medal in 16km V1
pushed you to compete at international level? Racing my first international
race which was the Vaka Eiva 2008 and 2009. We had teams from New Zealand and
Australia coming over and beating us by miles. So I got fed up with it and
trained up to let those countries know that Cook Islands is dangerously
competitive in outrigger paddling.