Thursday 14 April 2011 | Published in Regional
The Cook Islands women’s indoor volleyball team departs shortly for the South Pacific Challenge (SPC) in Auckland next week.
The team has been training since August and will compete at the SPC from April 25 to 30 at the Otara Recreational centre.
Local based players are Moari Halston, Nana Manuela-Emile, Tairi Herrmann, Tepaeru Herrmann, Elena Mataora, Fiona Matutu, Tepori Rongokea and Alanna Smith.
Overseas based players include Caroline Semisi, Eseta Semisi, Mamia Opu’u and Caroline Uamaki.
This is the 11th South Pacific Challenge and will feature national teams from New Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga as well as top New Zealand club teams like Sparta and Counties Manukau.
The New Zealand Institute of Sport is also expected to send teams to the competition and there will be two club teams from Sydney.
The Cook Islands has competed in the SPC on at least three prior occasions with the best performance from the women’s team which won bronze in 2002.
“The SPC will be a timely gauge of the standard of our women’s indoor volleyball players,” says coach Makea Pauka.
While CISNOC high performance criteria have prevented the code from sending the indoor volleyball teams to the South Pacific Games to be held in Noumea in September, a strong performance by the team at the SPC would be good preparation for the Oceania Volleyball Championships scheduled to be held in Auckland in the first quarter of 2012.
According to Pauka, while the Cook Islands volleyball has had mixed results in regional volleyball competitions, the potential exists for Cook Islands teams to excel in volleyball both indoor and beach, with structured development programmes and exposure to regional and international competitions. The team departs for Auckland in a week.