A new sport is being introduced to boost social activities on the island.
Tag rugby enthusiasts will gather this Friday at Teimurimotia Park for a tournament in a bid to help revive the sport in the Cook Islands.
Leading the Kuki Tag campaign is rugby league player Oswell Tunupopo, who has been training a group of interested players for over a month.
Tunupopo said efforts were made to set up the sport few years ago with little to no success.
“So I took on the challenge to revive the sport. I have been holding training, teaching the basic knowledge of tag to a group of 30 to 60 people of all age and gender for the past four to five weeks,” he said.
“The bottom line is to revive the sport here and get it into the school system. However the first approach is to get some social games going so everyone can get a feel of what Kuki Tag is all about.”
According to Wikipedia, tag rugby, or flag rugby, is a non-contact team game in which each player wears a belt that has two velcro tags attached to it, or shorts with velcro patches.
The mode of play is based on rugby league with many similarities to touch football, although tag rugby is often deemed as a closer simulation of the full contact codes of rugby than touch.
Attacking players attempt to dodge, evade and pass a rugby ball while defenders attempt to prevent them scoring by “tagging” – pulling a velcro attached tag from the ball carrier, rather than a full contact tackle.
Tunupopo said there were various forms of tag, most notably OzTag, New Zealand Tag and Tag20.
He said Kuki Tag would have its own format “that will suit everybody on the island”.
The tournament which will feature mixed teams will be held from 3pm to 6pm. “It is open to anyone and everyone on the island.”