The inaugural Cook Islands Beach Games will be a fun-filled family festival, says the organisers.
The games which will feature 3x3 basketball, beach volleyball, beach touch and beach handball will be held from January 6 to 11 at the Beach Courts in Nikao.
Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee is spearheading the event.
Committee secretary general Owen Lewis said they see the Beach Games as a start of an annual event.
Lewis said they were intending to invite overseas teams but left it a bit too late in promotion of the games.
“We want this to be something that the public engages in so we want it to be created as a festival, not just as sports. There are other things that will be happening at the Social Centre during that period, we got activities all throughout the week,” Lewis said.
The beach touch competition will be held on January 6 and 7 followed by beach handball on January 8 and 9. The beach volleyball competition will be held on January 10 and 11. The 3x3 basketball will be held concurrently at the National Tennis Courts from January 7 to 9.
Registration is free but teams are required to pay a $50 refundable deposit. There will be cash prizes up for grabs.
“We are asking for $50 deposit because we don’t want people entering and when we do the draw then there is a default. Its refundable entry fee if you turn up,” Lewis explained.
He also said there was no due date for registration. But he said they want to get all registrations in by December 24.
“Ideally we want the registrations before we go off for break, we wouldn’t want to see any registration after maybe December 24 because we have to do draws and things like that.”
Lewis said “encouraging number of teams” have entered the competition and they were hoping for more in the coming days.
There was no limit on the team number, he said.
Family, business and community teams are being encouraged to enter the Beach Games.
“We are trying to encourage as many teams possible. If we can get 10 or 20 teams, we can deal with that. We are not going to turn anyone away.
“We got about eight teams in volleyball, eight to nine in touch, atleast seven basketball teams and handball also has a good number as well. Registrations are coming in and that’s really encouraging.”
Lewis also said there had been a lot of engagement with the business community who have come on board as sponsors.
“Fair to say the business community see this as a positive initiative. We haven’t had anyone turn us down.”
For registration, contact Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee at 24095.