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Cooks Coach Wants To Promote Sport

  Cook Islands head coach Tearoa Iorangi is hoping that his three young athletes participating in the ITTF Oceania Table Tennis Championships will boost the interest of table tennis back
15 Apr 2017 12:32
Cooks Coach Wants To Promote Sport
Team Cook Islands at the ITTF Oceania Table Tennis Championships at the Vodafone Arena, Suva on April 14, 2017. Photo: Justine Mannan

 

Cook Islands head coach Tearoa Iorangi is hoping that his three young athletes participating in the ITTF Oceania Table Tennis Championships will boost the interest of table tennis back home.

While table tennis is considered a minor sport in many countries, in the Cook Islands it is played more as a hobby than as a competition.

“But none of these people are serious enough about it to take it up as a sporting career and actually represent the country,” Iorangi said.

“I’m hoping that the ones I brought here will go back home and show what they have learnt to attract the ones back home to join and take it up as a sport.

“Table tennis is a fun sport and I think everyone should get involved, it is really easy to play and literally anyone can play it.

“So if the ones back home can play it in their leisure time then there is nothing stopping them from taking it a step further and actually representing their country.”

With around 12 countries from the Oceania region competing at a single venue, Iorangi says, it is the perfect opportunity to gain experience.

“The players have been really good and they have improved from day one. The players are just getting used to their surroundings. Playing in an environment like this is very good for them because they are kids and still growing and learning.

“We want to learn as much as we can and get as much experience as they can at this level and this is the perfect place to learn because all the good players are here under one roof.

“In a couple of years we are hoping they will be really good from what they are now and this is really the starting ground for them.

“We are not here to win medals, although that would be nice, but we just want to give the kids the experience and exposure that they need.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj

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