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Wednesday 29 September 2010 | Published in Regional


What’s all the fuss about?

This is a common phrase at the Team Cook Islands camp in Tower 10 of the Commonwealth Games Village – a village that will house over 7000 athletes and officials for the games.

The comment is directed at the negative international media hype that has overshadowed the lead up to the Commonwealth Games – especially the Games Village apparent ‘inhabitable’ state and security issues.

The ever present armed security force certainly adds to the ‘peace of mind’ of the team but even then – there seems to be a calm buzz about the Games Village.

With the Games Village, at least Team Cook Islands camp, given the tick – it’s now on to the business of representing the nation.

Sure there’s signs of sloppy workmanship at every corner of the building and some areas would never have passed a basic building assessment – but it’s far from ‘unliveable’ as it was branded.

And Team New Zealand certainly deserves a pat on the back for raising the issues and getting ‘the house’ in order for all teams – the rest was just sensationalised.

It was the boot in the bottom they needed to get things moving along – something a bit like what the Cooks got before the Pacific Mini Games came together.

“It’s not at all like what was reported before we came,” national netballer Curly George said.

“I mean you read and see all the news and then to actually be here – it’s not like what we read and saw.

“The guards and their guns are all visible and it’s good to know they are there but there are no fears – I feel safe.

“So now we can get on and do what we came here to do – play our sport and represent our country.” Team Cook Islands also has the added ‘sense of security’ thanks to the fact that big brother New Zealand is housed in Tower 17 right across from Tower 10 and will be looked after by seven New Zealand police officers acting as security.

They will also provide extra security for Tokelau and Niue athletes who are also housed in Tower 10.

And after the teams’ first early morning frisking on arrival by guards – athletes are more aware of the dos and don’ts while preparing to go through security.