Saturday 10 September 2011 | Published in Regional
Excited beach volleyball players and managers are eager to return home to push for the development of venues for the sport and the development of beach volleyball at the grassroots level.
Both the mens and womens team placed 5th overall in their respective competitions and were treated to a magic beach volleyball experience on the outer island of Ouvea.
Women volleyball partners Alanna Smith and Pori Rongokea Palau on Thursday won their 3 game battle 2-1 to secure 5th place in the competition.
The men were automatically awarded 5th place after opponents Tonga pulled out on account of injury.
Obviously the placing is what the team wanted but apart from fighting the battles on court the volleyball team have been networking with the movers and shakers in the sport to showcase what the Cook Islands can offer in terms of hosting regional beach volleyball tournaments.
Beach volleyball manager Ngatuaine Maui has been impressed with the venues and organisation of the code in Noumea and she and fellow manager Mahai Daniels are full of enthusiasm and ideas to develop the code when they return home.
Maui says one of the biggest advantage the sports has over most others is that it is cost effective.
First the venues are white sand beaches and the Cook Islands boast some of the best and additionally two-member teams that dont need much in the way of shoes and uniforms. It is a sport Maui reckons should take off in the outer islands because it is so simple and cheap to set up.
Once the team returns home they will be putting their ideas down and starting to push for the development of the sport and its new home opposite the Social Centre in Avarua.
Overall the Pacific Games have been a huge eye opener for the team and their experience will set the foundation for the growth of the sport back home.