Eleven island teams will be battling in 21 sports at the Cook Islands Games 2020 that will be held from October 3 to 17.
The event is being organised by the Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee.
However, the national federations are in charge of their sports while the island sports associations will oversee the teams competing in the two-week fiesta.
Committee secretary general Owen Lewis says the objective of the Cook Islands Games is to promote island pride: “a celebration of sport; a celebration of our islands and a celebration of our nation.”
It is also to provide the country’s athletes a competitive opportunity and an opportunity to pursue excellence and advance their sporting ambitions, Lewis said.
He said the Cook Islands Games would also signify the restart of the local sporting events after Covid-19 restrictions.
“Since its onset, the Covid-19 pandemic has spread to almost all countries of the world. Social and physical distancing measures, lockdowns of businesses, schools and overall social life, which have become commonplace to curtail the spread of the disease, have disrupted many regular aspects of life, including our nation’s sport and physical activity,” Lewis said.
“The Cook Islands Games represents a restart of sport and a celebration of our inclusive society, that bridges community participation and sporting excellence and offers Cook Islanders from all ages, and Islands the opportunity to be part of the Cook Islands exciting sporting landscape.
“From the sports enthusiast, the school child, the taro-swamp commentator, to the serious athlete, all can play, compete and volunteer.
“It aims to be a meaningful and memorable sporting festival that ignites passion, builds character, connects people and bonds Cook Islanders.”
The 2020 Cook Islands Games will have open and age group categories depending on the participating sports.
However only the open grade will be competing for the Island Championship trophy.
Any person who is a Cook Islands Maori as defined in the Cook Islands Act 1915, with blood ties to an island has the right to represent an island.
Any person that is a permanent resident of the Cook Islands may compete for their island of residence – at least three months residence immediately prior to the Games.
Lewis said each islands team would be allowed to register five imports. The criteria for an import are he/she has been resident in the Cook Islands for a minimum period of three months prior to the Games.
“Our simple message to potential participants is if you want to compete for an island get hold of the island representative and they can organise your participation for their island.
“Make sure you are eligible for that island. For our expatriates get hold of an island representative to express your interest in competing for them.”
Team lists for all sports are to be submitted to CISNOC by August 24.
Upon receipt of the final team list, Lewis said they would send all team lists to each island for their scrutiny.
“There will a two week challenge period open to all islands. Challenges are to be lodged within this two week period. Every challenge will incur a $20 fee which will be refundable if the challenge is upheld. The challenge will not be considered if payment is not received. No eligibility challenges will be accepted outside of this challenge window.”