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Cook Islands thrilled to participate in traditional sports in Tahiti

Tuesday 9 July 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Other Sports, Regional, Sports, Tahiti

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Cook Islands thrilled to participate in traditional sports in Tahiti
The Cook Islands ‘Tu'aro Mā’ohi Traditional Games’ representatives have arrived in Tahiti. From left: Bea Stetka, Ieremia Samuela, Tamaiva Mateariki, Viani Tixier-Teau, Joshua Jim, and Pa Marie Ariki. SUPPLIED/24070806

Cook Islands representatives participating in the Heiva Tū’aro Mā’ohi traditional sports in Tahiti later this week are “thrilled” to be part of the unique event.

Organised by the ‘Āmuitahira’a Tū’aro Mā’ohi Federation (FATM) since 2003, this French Polynesian event now brings together competitors from numerous associations, and athletes from all over Polynesia including Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Hawai’i, and the Cook Islands.

The Cook Islands team of Joshua Jim, Tamaiva Mateariki, Bea Stetka, Viani Tixier-Teau and Ieremia Samuela departed Rarotonga on Saturday arriving in Tahiti safe and well.

Tixier-Teau says they are preparing for several events, coached and mentored by stone lifting champion, Pino Teapehu.

The Mā’ohi events, to be held from July 3 to 17, include amoraa ofa’i (stone lifting), the very popular timau ra’au (fruit-bearing race), wrestling, coconut climbing, Va’a Taie regattas, javelin throwing, and more.

Minister for Tauranga Vananga George “Maggie” Angene, Secretary of Tauranga Vananga Emile Kairua and his wife Ngakiri, Sharna Matapuku from Tauranga Vananga, and Pa Marie Ariki are also in Tahiti for the event and official engagements.

Traditional sports competitions have a prominent place in Polynesia and now include more than 28 associations and nearly 850 members spread over the five archipelagos of French Polynesia. The event is held in different locations in Tahiti that include Venus Point, Paofai Gardens and Vairai Park.

Cook Islands include traditional games in its popular Cook Islands Games that will be hosted this year from October 4-19.