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Preparations underway for PYASC 2013

Vania Kenning represented the Cook Islands to the preparatory meeting together with nine other Pacific Islands HODs to discuss and share country strategies in preparation of country delegates who will attend the conference next year. It was also an opportunity for delegates to share fundraising iadeas, discussion of theme/sub themes and to visit the accommodation and conference site.
Participants from American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, New Caledonia, Tonga, Vanuatu, PNG and Partner Agencies were present as well, these include: Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), Government of New Caledonia, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Pacific Youth Council (PYC).
Kenning made a presentation on the strategies that will help prepare the Cook Islands delegation, very much like the last PYASC 2010 preparations which were very successful.
“The Cook Islands delegation that attended the PYASC 2010 were a huge credit to the Cook Islands, they represented us well,” said Vania Kenning.
“They worked very hard to fundraise, they attended workshops here on Rarotonga before travelling to the conference, the workshops were intended to inform them of the various themes that would be discussed at the conference, so that they would feel confident to speak because they will be aware of the topic/issues and they were great ambassadors for the Cooks”, she says.
The youth participants who will take the opportunity to represent the Cook Islands will be required to commit with the fundraiser, to attend workshops, to actively participate in discussions and to learn as much as they can.
“It’s an experience of a lifetime to travel to Noumea, New Caledonia to meet youth from other Pacific Island Countries, share our experiences, learn from the experiences of other countries, identify issues and contribute to the solutions for our region”, says Vania Kenning.
“There is also an opportunity to win an award for the best project that each country designs and submits to the Awards Panel.”
The Cook Islands vision is to “invest in and contribute to a healthy, productive, participative, confident and prosperous youth community in the Cook Islands”, for a young person, a conference like this could be just the place to be inspired by others who are positively contributing to the community here on Rarotonga and if possible in the outer islands.
“We want to see young people be the best that they can be and with the right guidance and leadership, a conference like this has a vast potential to bring out the best in our youth,” concluded Kenning.
After the PYASC, it is expected that some participants may travel overseas for further opportunities however, it is important for those who remain in the Cooks to come back to an environment that encourages creativity and allowing youth to contribute their ideas and solutions.
OFC is joining forces with the New Caledonia Government and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to organise and stage the PYASC, the first edition of which was held in 2010 in Manukau, New Zealand.
The PYASC brings together participants aged 16 to 25 years old from 25 different Pacific countries and offers a platform to discuss sport for development and to foster successful relationships between youth organisations, sporting bodies, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and partners.
The ultimate goal of the conference is to improve the lives of young people in the Pacific through sport.

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