Tinomana Naea, back row second from right, with Shuttle Time participants. SUPPLIED/21121311
Cook Islands’ Tinomana Naea has been crowned the first winner of Serve-ing Pacific – Badminton Oceania’s new volunteer recognition programme.
Naea was nominated for excelling with ‘inclusiveness’ – one of five
organisational values which Badminton Oceania embeds across all programme
is a committee member and Shuttle Time tutor for Badminton Cook Islands and his
hard work, loyalty and determination has never faltered since joining the
organisation over four years ago, Badminton Oceania said in a statement.
involvement has been pivotal to the delivery of Shuttle Time and badminton in
general across primary and secondary school programmes and after school
classes. Other members of the Badminton Cook Islands Committee acknowledged his
extreme passion for the sport, “always going the extra mile to balance his own
personal and work life with the responsibilities to make room for school
children and their ability to learn and develop through badminton”.
in the Cook Islands has grown tremendously over the last four years (despite
the challenges of Covid-19), including the ongoing annual primary school’s
tournament (which always starts with a ‘Shuttle Time roadshow’), initiation of
a mixed generation tournaments, ladies only sessions and increased Shuttle Time
workforce to cater for the increased appetite among children, their parents and
wider community groups across the country.
key highlight in Naea’s time as a volunteer includes the success of a student
group from Avarua School who he has been guiding and teaching Shuttle Time for
the last two years, who consequently went on to win the junior division of the
annual college tournament in 2020.
Mereana-Ngauru, president of Badminton Cook Islands, said: “He (Naea) is a very
proud coach. He definitely claimed the bragging rights, but it definitely goes
to show, when you have great people supporting you and the dream, anything is
had my back since becoming the president of Badminton Cook Islands and is
extremely popular among the schools and their students in the Cook Islands. I
know his story will inspire and encourage others to step up, lead and inspire
others through sport.”
his list of motivations to volunteer was endless, some key factors included
physical and mental health benefits, the ability to bring people together and
in helping children to develop numerous skills.
said: “I’ve enjoyed seeing badminton grow on this island. There are so many
people here who didn’t know badminton existed just a few years back – most
people only knew about rugby and netball. It’s great to see there is another
sport taking off which they can get into. It’s opened up a lot of eyes,
especially for the kids.”
like helping out people, helping out the kids and enhancing the awareness of
badminton across the Cook Islands. For me, it’s all about getting to see the
children grow. They start off very young and you watch them grow and some of
them go on to win, even at the National Championships and it’s great to see
them achieve so much.”
Once again, Badminton Oceania thanks
Tinomana Naea for his ongoing work and his commitment to upholding our values,
particularly inclusiveness. While he intends to continue volunteering with
Badminton Cook Islands for the foreseeable future, he is hoping that he can
have an even greater impact on the organisation’s long-term vision by assisting
with the planning and implementation of international standard badminton courts
to assist their multiple development programmes and potential events.
The prize for each winner in Serve-ing
Pacific is a lunch voucher which Naea and a guest can use to support local.
Additionally, he will be the first to enter the random six-monthly draw
(including the previous six winners) for the ultimate staycation prize, which
will be drawn in May, 2022.