Ashleigh Wihongi-Willis is the Cook Islands Rugby Union president. PHOTO: CI NEWS/21060905
Cook Islands Rugby Union is looking for interested under-18 players and officials for an upcoming legacy development programme to be held in New Zealand.
Union will hold a meeting with interested players and their parents/guardians
and officials at 7pm tonight at the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic
Committee headquarters in Nikao.
Koteka, Cook Islands Rugby Union development manager, said the meeting will be
about the national women U18 team’s participation in a legacy development
programme as part of the postponed Women’s Rugby Cup 2021 to be played in New
Zealand from October to November, 2022.
local players and four officials will be part of this team that will attend a
development camp from October 5 to 9, 2022.
development camp will clash with the Cook Islands Games 2022 but Koteka said
players will need to weigh their options and see which event is more important for
meeting tonight will address any questions regarding this clash and other plans
such as selection process/timelines, training and support, fundraising, etc, as
well as “a place to best prepare our team for this unique and wonderful
opportunity to be at their best when in NZ”.
October 2022 development camp will be attended by other developing nations –
Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.
said this camp will be an opportunity to further super-charge the unstoppable
energy to build women’s rugby in the Cook Islands and the Pacific region.
terms of the clash with the Cook Islands Games, Koteka said though not ideal,
“we need to look at the prioritisation of women’s rugby and the development
that this legacy is able to give our girls long term”.
also need to consider that there are several other countries involved in this
project whom have already agreed to change dates to suit the NCEA Pacific
development pathway after this initiative is the selling point – an
understanding that prioritising this tournament can give their children a
better long-term outcome than the Cook Islands Games can.
same goes for the capacity we are trying to create in the coaching, management and
governance areas of Women’s Rugby which are pillars that need to be
strengthened concurrently if we are going to make roads to a sustainable
women’s rugby programme.”
national women’s U18 team will be coached by Julz Westrupp and assisted by
participants for tonight’s meeting are requested to bring along their masks and
adhere to other Covid-19 safety requirements.