BWF Shuttle Time helps schools to extend sports curriculum in Aitutaki, Cook Islands

The Cook Islands are one of the many countries in the Pacific that are formed of multiple islands – another challenge faced by our Member Associations when promoting BWF Shuttle Time among their communities.

Cook Islands Badminton recently extended their reach to Aitutaki, known locally as ‘a little paradise’, which is home to approximately 1800 people. The island has seen various Vaka and Kitesurfing competitions, as well as playing host to Survivor and Shipwreck TV Series.

Secluded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and just under a one-hour flight away from Rarotonga, President of Cook Islands Badminton (Thomas Mereana-Ngauru) travelled to the island earlier this month.

Equipped with knowledge of the BWF Shuttle Time programme and school sets (including rackets, shuttlecocks, balloons, cone and badminton nets), Thomas delivered a series of workshops to primary school teachers and youth leaders so they could continue to run sessions on the island.

Having come from Aitutaki himself, Thomas acknowledges that island life is “slow and relaxing” however they are also known for their friendliness and “outstanding athletes”.

The four main codes on the island include soccer, volleyball, netball and rugby and the schools have been looking forward for another code to be introduced to the school sports calendar

Badminton was well received by over 250 children from Araura Primary School, Tekaaroa Adventist School, Apii Vaitau school and Tautu Christian Youth Group took part in the session throughout the first week of December.

For three-quarters of the attendees, it was the first time they have picked up a racket”, says Thomas.

The school sets were left with the schools and community groups so they can continue to learn more about BWF Shuttle Time on the island.

For the latest news and updates from the nation, follow the Badminton Cook Islands Facebook page.

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