Monday, September 7

Cook Islands mini games mascot

The World Youth Netball Champs may be over but here on Rarotonga we’re counting down to the Pacific mini games.
For those who don’t live in the Pacific, the mini games take place every four years.
In between times we have the Pacific games which I suppose must be considered the major version with a programme of 22 or more sporting codes spread over ten days or so. The mini games are supposed to be for smaller countries to host without crippling themselves financially. We’re hosting fifteen codes, probably a few too many, and there’s been plenty of controversy about ballooning costs but we’re at the pointed end now and it all gets under way in a fortnight.
We have a mascot – Kuki the Kukupa – and he’s definitely the fun face of the games. He’s been pretty busy recently visiting sponsors and schools; he’s likely to be even busier as opening day gets closer.
The weather at the moment is atrocious – cold, wet and windy – so let’s hope all the bad stuff is out of the way by the time the games start. It’s nice watching sports performed by experts when the sun is shining, not so nice when the rain pours down.
The video shows some of Kuki’s activities.
We’re hoping for a few gold medals. Netball and touch rugby look promising and we should get medals in weightlifting and va’a (outrigger canoeing) although Tahiti are the gun paddlers in the region so maybe not gold. The real excitement comes when our athletes perform above expectations. Can’t wait!
For more about the games check out our website (