More Top Stories

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022

Rugby training for youngsters

Tuesday 9 May 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Rugby league, Sports


Rugby training for youngsters
Apii Nikao students preparing for the 2023 Rising Stars Rugby Competition. LOSIRENE LACANIVALU /23050813 / 20350814

More than 300 primary and high school students will be part of a rugby competition in the 2023 Rising Stars Championship.

Cook Islands Rugby Union development manager Ben Koteka says the championship will kick off next week with the girls taking part in the rugby competition for the first time in both the under-11 and U13 events.

Yesterday, Cook Islands Rugby Union conducted training at Apii Nikao where students Kingston Willis and Tarita Raumea said they were glad to be part of the initiative.

Twelve-year-old Willis is excited and looking forward to the rugby competition next week.

Eleven-year-old Raumea says she’s scared but hopes the competition is going to be fun.

Koteka said they have a training programme held in all 12 schools in Rarotonga in preparation for the championship.

He said Apii Nikao is the defending champion and there will be a lot of pressure on the boys.

“This year, it is the first time girls are taking part in the U11 and U13. It is about giving equal opportunity to participate in rugby and everyone is excited.”

The Rising Stars Championship involves both rugby and netball events that focuses on providing opportunities for talented local juniors to develop their skills, to create a professional tournament to attract young athletes to the sport, to bring rugby and netball interest back into the communities to foster grassroots support, and to develop and strengthen local-based athletes for selection into the national squad.