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.”
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.
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.