Sunday, January 24

Rarotonga’s tennis legacy from the games

‘Legacy’ was one of the four pillars of the Pacific Mini Games (the others were Mana, Tradition and Winning Hearts).
The idea was that the games would leave a legacy for the people of the Cook Islands (well, Rarotonga at least) in terms of sporting facilities, equipment and expertise.

I’m not sure what, if anything is happening with the Telecom Sports Arena, the BCI Stadium and the new bowling green but tennis is certainly living up to its promise.
Every evening and all through the weekend there are kids and adults using the courts and during the school Christmas holidays one of our medal-winning tennis players, Brittany Teei, took time out while on holiday here from New Zealand to run a coaching clinic for youngsters.
According to Cook Islands News twenty-year-old Brittany used last year’s Pacific Mini Games as a springboard to re-launch her tennis career after spending six years recovering from a broken ankle.
Teei broke her ankle while representing New Zealand as a 14-year-old in Germany and while most would have chucked in the towel – she put her coaching hat on and ran her own coaching programme at the Ngatira tennis club in Mt Eden.
“When I broke my ankle I naturally went into coaching to stay in the game I love,” says Teei.
Teei won three medals at the mini games tennis competition – bronze in the women’s singles, silver in the women’s team event and gold in the doubles competition with Kairangi Vano. Now she has her eyes firmly fixed on achieving her first ranking at next month’s ranking competition in South Korea and qualifying for the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games by competing in the Australian Amateur Open in September.
“The mini games were a big highlight for me and to reach a top 100 ranking is my ultimate aim in tennis,” says Teei.
The women’s tennis team was a big success at the games winning silver in the team event, gold in the doubles (Brittany Teei and Kairangi Vano), plus a gold (Kairangi Vano) and a bronze (Brittany Teei) in the singles.
The video includes Brittany in the singles and both girls in the doubles as well as other Pacific islands singles players.