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Team Cook Islands faces costs

Friday 11 March 2011 | Published in Regional

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It’s expected that it could cost up to half a million dollars to send a 200-plus Team Cook Islands to the Pacific Games in New Caledonia in August.

Codes representing the country at the August sporting event are encouraged to start making payments on the $1500 code levy every member must pay.

The code levy must be paid for each athlete, official and Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic representative which includes the chef de mission, general team manager and assistant team manager, administration officer, medical and media personnel.

The CISNOC president and secretary general will be funded by the International Olympic Committee.

While some codes are unhappy with the high amount of the code levy – CISNOC sports manager Robert Graham says the code levy is the same as that paid by athletes and officials that attended the Samoa Pacific Games in 2007.

Last year, Team Cook Islands athletes and officials paid an $800 levy to attend the Commonwealth Games in India as the Indian government had subsidised the travel cost of the team.

Graham says the $1500 code levy covers return airfares to New Caledonia, accommodation, accreditation, meals, transport, insurance while in New Caledonia, team uniforms and incidental costs such as departure and transit costs.

He also adds that national federations have been told that the athlete levy cost could be reduced if sufficient funding can be sought.

He adds that CISNOC will be sourcing funds both from government and overseas donors to help cover the cost of sending the team to New Caledonia.

CISNOC will also organise and run a national fundraiser.

Graham also reminds national federations that they have known about the New Caledonia games for the past four years and plans and fundraisers should have already been thought about and implemented.

Each of the 15 national federations representing the country must also fundraise to purchase competition and training uniforms not covered under the code levy.

Graham acknowledges the support of sports apparel supplier Turtles Sports who’ve kitted out the national team and individual codes at a reasonable cost.

“Every little bit counts,” says Graham.

The sports codes representing the country at the games schedule to be held between August 27 and September 10 are athletics, beach volleyball, boxing, body building, cricket, football, golf, rugby sevens, sailing, squash, swimming, tennis, triathlon, oe vaka and weightlifting.

Codes that have issues with matters concerning Team Cook Islands code levy or those who want more information about future fundraising plans can contact the CISNOC office on 20495.