On Friday, Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) announced the national team which will represent the country in 15 sporting codes.
They are athletics, basketball, football, golf, lawn bowls, netball, rugby Sevens, rugby league Nines, sailing, swimming, tennis, touch rugby, va’a, volleyball, and weightlifting. Boxing and cricket were unable to put through a team for this year’s Pacific Games.
More than 200 athletes are expected to be part of Team Cook Islands which will be led by chef de mission John Paul Wilson.
At the team announcement, which was also first of its kind for CISNOC, president Hugh Graham acknowledged the government for providing $200,000 to help with the games’ budget.
This is in addition to the $300,000 the government had appropriated in the 2018/19 Budget, Graham said.
“I wish to convey all our athletes representing the Cook Islands to continue to be humble and continue to raise the flag of the Cook Islands and to perform at their best,” Graham said.
“Those of us who have the potential for medal for the Cook Islands, that’s a bonus. First and foremost, be humble and be proud to represent such a small nation as ours and to come back with the goods in terms of medals to prove and show our people and the government that their investment and confidence through the national federations have been a good one.”
CISNOC general secretary Owen Lewis said they have a strong team heading to this year’s regional meet.
“We have the biggest team we have ever seen to any Pacific Games or any games at all and this is really a new experience for the country. We know that the athletes have prepared well and we are looking forward to many successes,” Lewis said.
The 16th edition of the Pacific Games, which is held once every four years, will take place from July 7 to 20 in Apia.
About 3500 athletes from 24 countries are expected to attend this year’s games.