Tennis Cook Islands junior development players Maka Maui and Raetea Rongo. SUPPLIED/22102010
Tennis Cook Islands junior development players Maka Maui and Raetea Rongo will be heading overseas tonight to compete in two world-ranking International Tennis Federation (ITF) J5 tournaments next week in Lautoka, Fiji.
Following a successful campaign for the youngsters
last month in Lautoka at the Pacific Oceania Junior Championship, which saw
Maui take out the 16U Boys division, and Rongo come in as a runner-up in the
14U Girls division, both athletes gained support from the Oceania Tennis
Federation (OTF) for the upcoming ITF tournaments.
Maui (16 years) and Rongo (13 years) will be competing
in an 18U tournament, which is expected to push them out of their comfort
Both players recently topped the Cook Islands 16U
Junior Nationals division in singles for boys and girls respectively, with Maui
also topping the 18U division for boys while Raetea managed third place.
Malcolm Kajer, national coach of the Tennis Cook
Islands development squad, said: “I am very proud of these two and hope they
gain much experience by competing in the ITF J5s.”
“No matter the results, competing at these tournaments
will give them both opportunities for match play against new opponents and work
on their mental toughness.”
Jackie Rongo, mother of Raetea, said: “It has been a
lot of early mornings and late afternoons preparing for these tournaments prior
to, and after the Cook Islands Games.”
“Coach Mal has been awesome in putting in the extra
hours on court to improve her tennis arsenal and polish shots. It’s certainly
been a long work-in-progress!
“Being able to play at these tournaments is next level,
and we are extremely grateful to OTF for making junior pathways for our Oceania
athletes possible as well as our local tennis community who continue to support
our young athletes grow in this sport,” said Rongo.
Tennis Cook Islands president Davina Hosking-Ashford
wished them all the best in both tournaments.