Small team to Commonwealth Youth Games

Thursday July 13, 2017 Written by Published in Local
Sprinter Tinapa Vailoa (front) with team leader, from left, John Paul Wilson and CISNOC’s Robert Graham, Siniva Marsters and Hugh Graham. 17071206 Sprinter Tinapa Vailoa (front) with team leader, from left, John Paul Wilson and CISNOC’s Robert Graham, Siniva Marsters and Hugh Graham. 17071206

The Cook Islands are taking one of the smallest teams to the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games to be held in the Bahamas.

 

Team Cook Islands will have only three athletes competing in the Games which starts next week.

They include Taua Heather (400m, high jump), Noa heather (50m free style) and Tinapa Vailoa (100m sprints).

Sixteen-year-old Vailoa from Mitiaro left Rarotonga on Tuesday along with team leader John Paul Wilson, CISNOC secretary-general Robert Graham and CISNOC president Hugh Graham.

The team will meet up with the other two athletes in Auckland then head to the Bahamas.

Robert says they are hoping for the best from their athletes.

“We just got the three athletes. There were four, but the female athlete pulled out of swimming due to injuries.

“We are hoping the athletes either get personal bests, or set junior national records for us. That’s what we are hoping for.”

First time team leader Wilson says he is excited with the new challenge and is looking forward to the experience.

“This will be a good opportunity to see how things are done. I am usually leading soccer teams, but this is a greater challenge as now my focus is on multiple sports not just one,” he said.

Wilson says he is not expecting too much from the athletes and wants to encourage them to do their best.

Sprinter Vailoa says she spent months training for the Games.

“I am looking forward to the new experiences and travelling with the team. I am hoping for the best,” she said.

Young athletes aged 14 to 18 years from 70 different nations will experience a Caribbean carnival of Commonwealth connections at the opening ceremony on July 18.

The athletes are set to make the most of an inspiring and immersive mix of impactful sporting competition, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships.

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