Showcasing Cook Islands culture at the opening of the Pacific Games events in Honiara, Solomon Islands. 23120303
Unique displays of Cook Islands cultural practices were showcased at the 2023 Pacific Games, which concluded with the closing ceremony in Honiara, Solomon Islands, last night.
the first day of the events until the final showdown, Team Cook Islands’ chef
de mission, Mark Short, and his team never failed to bring their drums to each
event, providing a boost for the athletes.
said the vision was to incorporate a bit of culture into the athletes to ensure
they understood the importance of the people and country they were
wanted them to feel a connection with their heritage and culture so they would
appreciate who they were playing for.”
said that in the end, they were able to unite Team Cook Islands as one family.
used the drums in the morning at 6.30am as an alarm to wake everyone up for
prayers and devotion, which was powerful.”
said various codes and federations had turns running devotion then they would
go off to training or game time.
culture as a foundation has been a blessing for Team Cook Islands because it
brings people together. We had to find a balance between using the drums only
to remind people to come to devotion and more importantly to support teams in
the semis or finals.”
said they also performed some cultural shows for their volunteers to say thank
you and they returned the compliment by performing for them which strengthened
their bond and relationship with the athlete’s village management team and
said they also collected funds from the sporting federations to donate to the
athlete’s village when they leave this weekend.
said his focus had been to keep the momentum of the team running smoothly such
as transport that includes dropping off teams to the airport and managing
have also been encouraging our athletes to encourage and lift our teams that
did not do so well.”
the Pacific Games concluded last night, Short, reflecting on Team Cook Islands’
journey, acknowledged the challenges faced.
journey was extremely challenging at the start, with different teams arriving
at different times,” Short said.
we had the challenge of trying to find alternatives for teams stranded in Fiji
due to the cyclone that put a hold on flights. These were eventually rerouted
through Brisbane to Honiara.”
Prime Minister Mark Brown with the boxing team in Honiara. 23120310
of the athletes and teams have departed Honiara and the rest will be departing
said: “I’m happy with the outcomes so far, especially as we had to navigate
around the delayed flights caused by the cyclone in Fiji and the changing
itineraries to get teams to the games.”
is always room for improvement, and I have spoken to all managers to provide me
with their thoughts in writing on how they think future games can be improved.”
expressed his satisfaction with the Pacific Games results, considering the
circumstances faced by the athletes.
Cook Islands amassed 5 gold, 3 silver and 9 bronze medals (as of 5pm
yesterday). The 3x3 women’s basketball and mixed touch teams were playing in
the bronze medal playoffs when this edition went to print last night.
the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa, Cook Islands won 18 medals, including 5 gold,
5 silver, and 8 bronze medals. The target this year was 25 medals.
said: “We don’t have a large population from which to field the numerous
sporting commitments on offer at these games. Often, our athletes play a number
of sports such as netball, soccer and touch rugby compared to other countries
that specialise in one code.”
come away from the games with medals after competing against larger countries
with more people and more resources is a testament to the ability that we have
to remain competitive against an unlevel playing field.
people should be proud of our athletes.”
Prime Minister Mark Brown was in Honiara on the second week of the Games to support
Team Cook Islands before heading to Dubai for the COP28 United Nations Climate
told Cook Islands News that Team Cook Islands is one of the best teams at this
Pacific Games, demonstrating excellent team spirit and achieving impressive
gave credit to the chef de mission and management.
been really good games, I think. Solomon Islands put on a terrific event.”