The team attended the Asia Pacific Cup Canoe Sprint event which only accepts the top three age group entrants from participating nations – hosts New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and the Cook Islands.
The national claimed a bronze medal in the under-16 relay event. The Cook Islands team comprises of Jade Tierney, Lily Tierney, Genesis Ngatikao, Caitlyn Tommy, Otea Tommy and Te’Aroa Pekepo.
The Asia Pacific Cup Canoe Sprint event is set to be a regular competition and it will be held in Japan next year, utilising Olympic facilities. It is also on the Cook Islands Canoe Sprint Programme race calendar on their pathway to Olympic qualification for the Paris 2024 games.
Cook Islands coach Roly Rolleston was pleased with the performance of the national players.
“Our kids did great! A bronze from the U16s’ relay, qualifying for (x2) A finals, but more importantly on a world class level they’re right in it, 100ths of seconds between them and further podium results,” Rolleston said.
“With the help of Oceania Canoeing Association, and our overseas experts, I’m confident higher honors are just around the corner.”
Rolleston acknowledged the support the sponsors Bank South Pacific (BSP) and Bluesky Cook Islands play in the success of the programme.
“Without their financial input it’s just not possible.”
He also highlighted the importance of supportive families behind the athletes the country at international events.
“I run a firm but fair programme, it’s not for everyone, but for those with the drive that stick at it, success normally follows, and behind that success are the families spending, fundraising, dropping kids at training, helping with programme requirements … they know who they are, thank you all.”
The programme has its annual major fundraiser on May 25 at LBV Muri. The dinner night is themed “Going for Gold”.
For details and anyone interested in supporting can contact Liz Tommy on 74113.
- Canoe and Kayak Cook Islands