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Young swimmers gearing up for overseas competitions

Friday 31 March 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Sports, Swimming

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Young swimmers gearing up for overseas competitions
Coach Kieran Chan at a fundraising food sale event held recently for the development squad. SUPPLIED/ 23033019

In a bid to develop future national swimmers, the Cook Islands Aquatics Federation (CIAF) has formed a development squad of youth swimmers aged 10-17 who will be taking part in a training camp in Auckland next month.

The federation realised there was a gap in provision for young swimmers based in the Cook Islands who are aspiring to improve and compete internationally.

In a statement, the Cook Islands Aquatics Federation’s Development Squad fundraising committee, said: “Competitions are essential for teaching our kids the joys and skills involved with pool swimming. CIAF aims for up to three international meets for the Development Squad in 2023, according to funds availability. The Development Squad have begun fundraising and have run a food sale and two raffles. Further events are planned.”

The Development Squad is hosting an April Pools Day fundraiser tomorrow (April 1) at 3pm at the Lazy Trout. 

“There’s going to be swim races, fun pool games, a big BBQ food sale by Uncle Tom’s BBQ, sausage sizzle, spot prizes and bake sale.

“Tickets are $25 and include a plate of amazing Uncle Tom’s BBQ food and spot prize entries.  Kids can come along – a koha gold coin donation would be appreciated. Contact coach Kieran Chan for tickets or come to Paradise Supplies.”

The funds raised at this event will go towards 11 Cook Islands children heading to Auckland for a development squad camp in April from 17-21. During the camp the kids will be coached with Horst Miehe (national coach) at the club he is associated with, Howick Pakuranga Swim Club. There will also be a swim meet on Saturday, April 22.

“The funds we raise will go towards accommodation, food, entry fees, and shared vehicle for the swimmers, and flights for the coach.”

The Cook Islands Aquatics Federation (CIAF) is responsible for the promotion and development of swimming in the Cook Islands at all levels. 

CIAF has been a member of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) since 2007. CIAF is also a member of the Oceania Swimming Association. “Although Cook Islanders have a natural affiliation with the water, swimming is quite a new sport and CIAF aim to establish swimming and water safety as a compulsory part of education in the schools and to teach all Cook Islanders both young and old through increased participation.”

The Development Squad – Ara Wyatt, age 12; Emaraina Puni, age 10; Esther Miller, age 17; Evah Sosene, age 13; Kanoa Kermode, age 17; Liana Chan, age 10; Nikita McDonald, age 11; Rebecca Tangaiataua, age 16; Roma Tou, age 14; Taunga Miller, age 13; Terai Heather, age 12; Kieran Chan (Coach).