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Thursday 25 August 2011 | Published in Regional


Mum and sports enthusiast Teina Taulu farewelled her family heading to the Pacific Games in New Caledonia this week with a mixture of excitement and sadness.

Her husband John and two kids John Jnr (17) and Emilene (19) are part of the oe vaka contingent racing at the Pacific Games and if she had better financial situation she too would have been part of the paddling team.

But Taulu has had to opt for family pride over national pride as she tirelessly washed sweat drenched training gear, cooked nutritious and body fueling food and cleaned after her three athletes who committed themselves to the rigorous training schedules demanded of them by their coach.

Im so proud of my family but a bit sad at the same time that I cant be there competing with my baby, says Taulu, who is the youth development officer for the Cook Islands Canoeing Association and operations manager for Netball Cook Islands.

Daughter Emilene was the top junior female paddler for a number of years and is rising up the ranks in her new open women division.

Emilene paddled with mum in the 2009 Pacific Mini Games here on Rarotonga while her father and brother will be competing in their first Pacific Games a truly proud achievement for the Taulu family.

Taulu had every confidence that her family and the wider paddling family will do well in New Caledonia.

Its a huge challenge but thats all part of it theyve trained hard and I know they will all do well.

Daughter Emilene will compete in the V1, V6 and V12 womens races while husband John will compete in the V12 and son John Jnr will race in the V6 competition.

I know they heard the pastors sermon on Sunday and I will be visualising success for them.