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Opinion

Giving kids a chance to play

Saturday 13 November 2021 | Written by Alana Musselle | Published in Badminton, Sports

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Giving kids a chance to play
Tehani Laurie in action on the court yesterday. 21111222

Kids from primary schools all over Rarotonga were glad to ditch their books for badminton racquets at the annual Primary School Badminton Tournament yesterday.

Students from years four through to six competed against each other in a series of badminton matches which they had been eagerly training for, for the past four weeks.

The competition ran from 9am-2pm followed by a prize giving ceremony. Prizes ranged from trophies, to Vodafone top-up vouchers and other goodies.

The National Sports Arena was buzzing with kids eager to represent their schools well, with parents and family members supporting them from the stands above. Kelly Pokipoki from Apii Imanuela Akatemia said: “It was a great day because we won three games, and we lost four games, but that’s okay because we have two more games to win. It was exhausting but fun because we didn’t have to be at school.”

Her friend, Tehani Laurie added: “We were really nervous at the start but did pretty well at the end.”

Lia Taio from Apii Nikao prepares for the shuttle coming her way. 21111223

Thomas Ngauru, president of Badminton Cook Islands, said that the competition level was better than they expected.

“Every year we run this competition but the level of the players is always picking up which is great as that’s the whole idea. More importantly it’s about creating good experiences for our kids,” he said.

He adds the competition has also been great for the badminton association as it is through these school competitions that they are able to observe and find future prospects and future badminton champions to represent the country at international events.

Tera Rongo and Moana Napa from Apii Avarua after a successful morning of games. 21111225

Ngauru shared that most of their players that they have in their squads picked up the sport through these primary school competitions.

“It’s also about giving all kids a chance to play,” he said. The association also hold a four-week programme in which they visit each of the schools leading up to the competition.

 “It’s about giving all kids a chance to hold the racquet,” he said.