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15 badminton youngsters prepare for AIMS Games

Thursday 25 May 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Badminton, Sports

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15 badminton youngsters  prepare for AIMS Games
Team Vonnias at a recent domestic competition. Badminton Cook Islands is starting its five-week Social Elite Challenge on Monday. BADMINTON/23052418

Fifteen youngsters from the ages of 11 to 13 will be representing the Cook Islands in badminton at the Zespri AIMS Games in New Zealand this September.

The team will include Haize Gamez, Terito Napa, Makea Pauka Jr, Trudeinus Tuaputa, Edon Teraitua, Vincent Simpson, Talia Adams, Maraea Wichman, Itirangi Nicholas-Herman, Prince Strickland, Claude Simpson, Uhain Gamez, Siaosi Cowan, Raeyaan Narayan and Victor Anselmo.

In terms of preparation, Badminton Cook Islands president Thomas Mereana-Ngauru said the team is training twice a week for three hours at the Vodafone Sports Arena on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Starting next week Monday, they will be competing in the five-week Social Elite Challenge as part of their training.

Mereana-Ngauru said each player is responsible for their own fundraising with some selling sausage sizzles at the CITC supermarket every Saturday.

In the build up to the AIMS Games, a team of seven players will be travelling to Palmerston North to compete in the New Zealand Junior National Team Championships in July playing for Counties Manukau. 

In August, a team of six players will be competing at the ANOC World Beach Games in Bali in Airbadminton.

On September 6, junior players will compete in the BWF World Junior Championships in Washington, USA, Cook Islands will be making its debut in the World Junior event.

Badminton Cook Islands also has a team travelling to New Zealand for the U13, U15 and U17 National Champs later in October.

Badminton Cook Islands has been busy organising other programmes where on Monday next week 16 teams who registered in their first 5 Week Challenge for the year will be competing.

This won’t be the last, says Mereana-Ngauru, adding they have other events in the pipeline.

He thanked major sponsors BSP for their continuous support towards their junior development programme and teams to AIMS Games. The bank has been supporting them for the past five years. 

Meanwhile, on Friday there will be fundraiser events for the Zespri AIMS Games players – a CC Tamure fundraiser will be held at the Avatiu Clubhouse at 5pm then right after that a barrel night at OTR. Contact 57163 for more details.