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New courts a step into beach volleyball future for Cook Islands

Cook Islands Volleyball hopes to attract international competition, but the courts will first and foremost give local kids a better chance to learn and play
Rarotonga, Cook Islands, October 3, 2012 – Cook Islands Volleyball Federation has signed a lease with the government for the use of government land to construct two full-size international beach courts.

The land is located on the Northwest side of the island, approximately 500 metres from the northwest end of the international airport runway. The courts are approximately 70 metres from the beach and right next to the Rarotonga Golf club and the Cook Islands Tennis courts.

Cook Islands Volleyball has big plans to convince the AVC of the potential for hosting international beach events on the islands. With daily flights into the Cooks from New Zealand and weekly flights from Australia, the United States and Tahiti, the Cook Islands Open could attract many overseas teams.

“We optimistic that we can follow Vanuatu in terms of what they have done with their beach volleyball programme,” said Hugh Graham, Cook Islands Volleyball president. “This is the area of volleyball that we can produce champions and this is where we need to cannel our energies and resources into developing and promoting.”

It has been a struggle for Cook Islands volleyball over the past year to get the courts to where they are now, ready to be played on. Cook Islands Volleyball are presently negotiating with the government and sponsors to help them make their dreams a reality.

“The construction of the beach courts is a starting point for us to achieve our goals – as they say, small steps at a time,” said Graham. “Our intention is to ensure that every young person in the Cook Islands has the right and chance to play the sport that we love.”

USA Volleyball Director of Sports, John Kessel, has been appointed by the FIVB to travel to Rarotonga, the capital of the Cook Islands, later this month to run a VCP programme supported by the FIVB.

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