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Letter: ‘We have gone backwards’

Tuesday 15 August 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Letter: ‘We have gone backwards’

Dear Editor, C’mon you ding-a-lings – you are sending a small sports team to the Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinidad and Tobago and we don’t even know who they are and what sports they are representing us and what is their level of performance and what chances they have to bring home a medal?

I do recall how often after we send a team to a sporting event overseas, we get a glaring report that we have the best uniforms and best dressed team on the march past in the opening ceremony and there ends the report as we rarely bring home any medal.

Here we are again – you are arguing about their uniforms. We have again descended to that level of nonsense and the whole thing is another free trip which seem to be the main reason people enter a host of sports and some nonsensical sports in order to have a half to fully paid trip to these overseas sports events.  Their main purpose is a holiday trip and representing our country in sports is the excuse which comes with free money for the vacation.

You might not realise that our country is being made into a laughing stock at overseas sporting meets. It’s all about the trip – the free trip – the holiday trip with a little bit of sports thrown in to justify the freebee – Then there is no report to the public of how badly they have performed if they indeed turned up to the sporting event. This is where we are now and Government continues to fund these organisations without requiring serious accountability to the organisers etc and they should be forced to refund any Government funding if they fail to meet up to the required standards. And the public should be informed about every athlete sent overseas to represent the Cook Islands and the results should always be given to the public. The reason we have got little information in the past is because the results have been shockingly pathetic. We have failures at every level. We have a very good athletics sports field at Tereora and it is used largely for rugby and rugby league.

Sadly, those who excel in their respective sports e.g., Alex Beddoes, their success is due largely to the individual effort and family support and sacrifice.  In fact, if someone is prepared to do the research one would find that virtually all our successful sports people owe 80-90 per cent of their success to individual and family support and funding. And most of them go overseas to develop their skills.

We don’t even know who our top record holders are in many events – whereas in the old days we always knew who the fastest runner on the islands is and all the top athletes in every sport and they are lauded by the public for their efforts etc. Now we have gone backwards. We have a beautiful stadium at Tereora and there is no excuse not to have an annual meet for all the sporting events. We are still waiting for that swimming pool and those in the swimming organisation are asleep with their heads under the water – all you have to do is ask the Chinese to help and Australia and America will jump in to fund it.

The suggestion is that many people are in the sporting organisations as managers and organisers and the main reason is for the free overseas trip for all sorts of reasons and they have done little to nothing about developing the sports they are supposed to promote and develop here at home. If I am wrong then I don’t apologise until you come out publicly and tell us what you are doing and what athletes are being trained and built up and what public events are being organised.

For a start, can our sports people tell us what events we participated as a country overseas throughout this year and what our results were. Then tell us what events to the rest of this year are we participating in and when and who are going to it and what are their justification for going? That is what is called accountability and it should be Government’s Ministry of Sports or whatever should be providing this information to the public. The problem is that Government ministry people are busy going over their next overseas trip itinerary to have time to advise us the public what is going on.

Ex Boxer

(Name and address supplied)