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Team Cook Islands prepare for Delhi

Friday 19 March 2010 | Published in Regional

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Team Cook Islands preparations for the Delhi Commonwealth Games kicked into gear this week with the announcement of the sporting codes that have qualified to take part in the games in October.

The six codes are boxing, lawn bowls, athletics, netball, tennis and weightlifting.

Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee president Sir Geoffrey Henry announced yesterday that Team Cook Islands will be made up of athletes from six sports codes.

He says that these codes have been selected based on them meeting the High Performance Commission eligibility criteria and qualifying for the games.

Sir Geoffrey believes that around 36 athletes will make up Team Cook Islands with officials, coaches and technical advisors to take the total number of the team to 56.

The six sports codes are being urged to begin preparations for the Delhi games with the final announcement of Team Cook Islands to be made closer to the games.

Meanwhile Team Cook Islands chef de mission George George has just arrived back from his second trip to Delhi to check out the venues for the games.

George reports that preparations are on track for the games and that a number of new sports venues are currently being used for international events as trial runs for the venues.

“The venues are top class, like the venue for netball is said to be the best in the world,” says George.

“The lawn bowlers will be very pleased as India is building a brand new lawn bowls venue.”

George adds that India is spending more than $30 million on each venue but the athletics venue may cost around $130 million.

George says that team chef de missions were assured that tight security will be in force during the games to ensure a friendly and safe game.

He also reports that Air India will charter two planes to pick up Pacific Island teams with Auckland and Brisbane the planned pick up points for the teams.

George says that once picked up from Auckland or Brisbane, it will be a direct flight to India.

“To get to India at the moment you have to go from Raro to Auckland, Hong Kong, Bangkok and then India or some other way. That’s not something any athlete wants to go through.”

But before Team Cook Islands goes anyway – the hard yards have to be done on the field and already the netballers are getting the ball rolling on their games campaign and so are the lawn bowlers and boxers.