Cooks gets world gymnastics voice

Friday September 28, 2018 Written by Published in Other Sports
Cook Islander Raukura Ellison has been appointed the new vice-president of the Oceania Gymnastics Union. 18092716 Cook Islander Raukura Ellison has been appointed the new vice-president of the Oceania Gymnastics Union. 18092716

While the gymnasts of the Cook Islands may not yet be competing on the world stage, Raukura Ellison is helping to give the country a voice on the international stage at a governance level.


Ellison, who is also the current president of Cook Islands Gymnastics Federation (CIGF) was recently appointed as the inaugural vice-president of the newly established Oceania Gymnastics Union (OGU).

A physical education and health teacher at Tereora College, Ellison said she first took part in Gymnastics training during her time at university working towards her teaching degree.

“When I was at university we did gymnastics training which I also enjoyed but also my daughter Azaliyah wanted to try it out so as a I result I got involved, I then trained to be a coach which I have been since 2016.

“It works well alongside my profession as a hands-on PE teacher as gymnastics it is such a hands-on sport.”

The inaugural general assembly of the Oceania Gymnastics Union (OGU) was held in Auckland earlier this month, which signified the formation of the fifth and final union, to symbolise the five Olympic rings with each representing the continental unions.

Seven gymnastics federations have become the founding members of the OGU, Australia and New Zealand as well as Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea alongside the Cook Islands.

Ellison said having CIGF as a member allowed them to have a stronger voice within the sport.

“As part of my role on the union, we deal with the day to day running of the organisation but it now also means that the Cook Islands is able to speak on behalf of some of the smaller developing nations on where gymnastics is.

“It is a benefit to us to be a member of this organisation as we can say what the challenges are that we face as a small island federation and how OGU can help not only us with potential solutions to the challenges we face as a new sport in a country with a small population and geographical isolation, but also other countries who face similar challenges.”

CIGF secretary Teina Taulu said the federation is proud to have Ellison’s passion and drive be rewarded with this appointment.

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