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13 February - Archery - the new Cook Islands sport(2)

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Pic: There was a good turnout of about 30 people to form the Cook Islands Archery Association.


Archery - the new Cook Islands sport(2)


The sport of archery—the art of shooting with a bow and arrow—looks like it will be making its mark in the Cook Islands shortly.

A public meeting attended by about 30 enthusiasts decided unanimously on Tuesday to form the Cook Islands Archery Association.


Their aim is to affiliate to the Cook Islands Sports and Olympic Committee and then to seek both Allsports and Olympic Solidarity funding for club equipment and coaching.

It was also decided to affiliate the new association to the Oceania Archery Federation.

Nearly everyone at the meeting, which was convened by Cook Islands News, said they wanted to compete in target shooting.

The meeting heard there were several competent archers already living on Rarotonga, and a couple of Cook Islanders living in New Zealand and Australia had expressed interest in advising the new club and possibly competing as Cook islands representatives.


The meeting was called after an invitation was received for the Cook Islands to be represented at the Oceania Archery Games to be held in Samoa later this year.

Two speakers told the meeting they had a long interest in smallbore rifle shooting, but because it would be hard to get this off the ground on such a small island, the next best option was to take up archery.


Brent Fisher said he was in this category and he was keen to get into archery because he had tried it as a schoolboy and enjoyed it. He also offered to help with the paperwork in registering the association as an incorporated society.

After some discussion about possible locations for a shooting range, Arorangi landowner James Heather offered to provide the association with land for a permanent archery range.


CISNOC observer Siniva Marsters said it was important for the meeting to constitute an association so that it could affiliate to CISNOC and gain official backing. This could include administration support in applying to Olympic Solidarity for help with start-up equipment and coaching.

The meeting heard that friends and relatives of those present included a New Zealand Maori archery official and coach in Wellington and an archery equipment agent and level three coach in the South Island.


A Sydney couple named Grahame and Diann Benson sent to a message to the meeting offering both support and involvement. The couples are competitive archers in compound freestyle divisions, and Diann is a member of the New South Wales state archery team. Grahame’s late mother, Maata Sadaraka, was an Aitutakian, and he has relatives on Aitutaki—sister Ngere and her husband Tai Reva, and nephew Teariki who runs Teking Lagoon Cruises.

A German visitor to Rarotonga, Helmut Reudel, told the meeting he was a keen competitive archer in his home country. He visits the Cook Islands frequently, and offered to help with any advice or input on his future visits.

Helmut provided the meeting with a good deal of information about equipment, competition and facilities. He said the standard target shooting distances were 15m, 25m, 30-40m and 90m, the longest distance being the main Olympic category. A field of about 70m by 130m would be ideal, with a backdrop net for catching arrows. Targets themselves were made of paper, and were fixed to one metre square backing boards.


He said to get started the club would need 10 to 15 bows, which ranged in cost from $300 to $500, and arrows at about $20 each. Bow sizes depended on the height and chest strength of the archer.

He spoke of the sport being a means of individuals gaining and achieving inner balance and control, and using stretching and power training to improve one’s ability.


For getting children started in the sport it would be easy to create a shooting corridor and setting targets at 15 to 20 metres.

The meeting decided to lodge an application for incorporation as soon as possible. To gather the required minimum of 15 signatures contact would be made with those present by email and fax, and the documents would be held for signing at Fishers Pearls in Avarua.


The interim committee for the association is: Rose Akaua, Mousie Skews, Rebecca Hosking-Ellis, Ken Brothers, Brent Fisher and John Woods. For more information, email or


—John Woods