Junior tennis squad in Lautoka contest

Wednesday August 09, 2017 Written by Published in Other Sports
Team coach Malcom Kajer, Jesse Toa, Maka Maui, Arikitoa Allsworth, Bluesky country manager Phillip Henderson, Moana Une, Teakaiti Toa and team manager Kura Une. 18080817 Team coach Malcom Kajer, Jesse Toa, Maka Maui, Arikitoa Allsworth, Bluesky country manager Phillip Henderson, Moana Une, Teakaiti Toa and team manager Kura Une. 18080817

A Cook Islands junior tennis squad is off to Lautoka, Fiji on Saturday morning to participate in the Pacific Oceania Junior Championship, in the under 12 and under 16 categories.

 

The competition, which runs from August 14 to 23, was made possible after the six juniors all qualified after competing in a tournament in Auckland, New Zealand.

“Back in April we all went over to compete in Auckland for the East Pacific Championship,” said team manager Kura Une.

“Only the best in region would qualify to go to Fiji, and all six made it, two girls and four boys. So that was unbelievable.”

The players will participate under the East Pacific Regional team, and will be joined by players from Samoa and Tahiti, and will also share coaches.

Bluesky and ANZ have been instrumental in helping the squad prepare for the trip, by providing them with the means to raise funds.

“Bluesky have been really important,” said Une. “They donated two phones and top-up bonuses for us to use, as well as training uniforms and merchandise, even bags and bottles.”

“They have also donated $2000, which will go towards our travel expenses.”

ANZ has also made significant contributions, sponsoring a sausage sizzle right outside the bank, and have continued to help Tennis Cook Islands throughout the year.

“They paid for everything. They bought the sausages, the bread, they even buttered it,” Une said, laughing.

“We just had to turn up and sell them, and after an hour or so they even sent out their staff to help out.

“In all, we made about $600, which they then topped up to $800, so we are incredibly grateful for their support.”

Tennis Cook Islands president Brian Baudinet says the competition is between the East, West and North Pacific regions, and is held in Fiji annually.

“This year we think we have a very good chance to win the title, and I am very grateful for the support of Bluesky,” Baudinet said.

Tennis squad:

Under 12s – Jessie Toa, Arikitoa Allsworth, Maka Maui, Moana Une, Teakaiti Toa

Under 16s: Elijah Amataiti

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