Cabinet yesterday approved for contact sports to resume after placing a temporary ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) is advising sporting federations to adhere to hygiene practices at their upcoming events despite the country’s Covid-19 free status.
Committee secretary general Owen Lewis in a letter to sporting heads said they were extremely grateful to Cabinet for this decision and in particular the Minister for Sport Vaine (Mac) Mokoroa for his support and advocating on their behalf.
“We look forward to the resumption of our sports. With this decision we must also accept responsibility for the continued safe practices that will keep our country and people safe during these times,” Lewis said.
“We ask you all to continue to promote, where possible given the nature of your various sporting endeavours, the safe practices that have been advocated by Te Marae Ora that serve to minimise the chance of injury and sickness.”
With New Zealand kicking off their Super Rugby Aotearoa competition last week, Minister Mac Mokoroa said Cook Islanders were itching to get out and get physical.
However he also warned they need to remain vigilant especially after two new Covid-19 cases were discovered in New Zealand this week.
“We need to be aware of what is happening to New Zealand and remain vigilant. I have no doubt that once we get a report (Covid-19 case), we will automatically go red flag.”
CISNOC president Hugh Graham said some of the sporting federations were left “a bit frustrated” with the decision to ban contact sports especially with no Covid-19 cases here.
However Graham said they understand and appreciate the preventive measures put in place by the health ministry and other authorities to keep the virus at bay.
“Whilst we are thankful to Cabinet for this decision, we are also mindful of the hygienic practices that are in place and we ask all sporting federations to adhere to practices such as washing hands before and after the game, etc.”
Simiona Teiotu, the president of Cook Islands Rugby Union, said they are looking forward to starting their 2020 season early next month.
Teiotu said he would be calling an urgent meeting this week to discuss the possibility of bringing the season forward.
“But we need to consider the clubs and ensure they have enough time to prepare for the season. At the meeting I would also propose turning the upcoming Rippa rugby competition to full contact rugby.”