The event is an annual multi-sport event for over 10,000 intermediate school students competing in over 25 different codes over a six-day period; this is the fourth consecutive year the Cook Islands has participated and it utilises the event for the Junior Development Programme.
The seven boys and seven girls will represent their schools competing in singles and doubles games against students from New Zealand and the pacific.
The team are: Emanuela Mataio, Daniel Akavi, Maevarangi Kirikava, Zarrian Heather-Rau, Tereapii Akavi, Chiann Naslund, Tehani Matapo, Te Pa Tupa and Tuaana Mitchell from Nukutere College; Te Pa Kelly and Loureina Kureta from Apii Nikao; Josephine Kureta from Papaaroa School; Setephano Vakatini from Apii Avarua.
The team have trained hard under the watchful eye of Coach John Taulu since January, a few members were scouted during the annual college Badminton tournament held in May and June.
The level of players in this competition range from school to New Zealand rep level which gives our players an opportunity to be competitive and experience badminton at a higher level.
“We expect some really good results from the team and fingers crossed they can bring back our first medal,” says association president Thomas Nganu.
Fundraisers, with support from the public, have assisted with the team’s costs.
“We would like to say them all especially CITC Supermarket and Prime Foods for allowing us to fundraise in front of your stores,” Nganu said.
“Also Bank of the South Pacific for the sponsorship of the teams travelling tops and tracksuits for the 4th consecutive year, thank you, we appreciate your continuous support and look to working with you in the future.
You can follow the team’s progress on Facebook: Cook Islands Badminton page.