THE COOK ISLANDS Football Association is three months away from launching its first Kia Orana Youth Football Festival on Rarotonga. The week-long event is set to take off from April 15 to 22 at the CIFA Complex in Matavera providing youth teams from all around the world a fun football and cultural experience here in the Cook Islands.
The festival caters for football teams of girls and boys aged 16 years and under, who wish to share experiences with their local peers on Rarotonga.
Invitations were sent out to various clubs and schools abroad and here over the year to seek interests and so far, five girls’ teams and five boys’ teams from overseas have confirmed their participation.
They will be coming over for a taste of local competition going up against the likes of teams from around Rarotonga and the outer islands including Aitutaki and the Nga-Pu-Toru.
“We wanted to provide our youth footballers the opportunity to play football against peers from overseas to grow and develop their skills,” says competitions manager Pauline Dean. The association is excited to launch the inaugural event calling it the “first of its kind” on the island and anticipates an exhilarating experience for both the participants and the locals. “Our intentions are to make this event an annual one and grow it over the years to come,” Dean said.
“As well as playing football, the teams will indulge in a number of cultural activities immersing themselves in arts, culture and dance of the Cook Islands as part of the whole experience.”
Registrations for the Kia Orana Youth Football Festival are still open for those who wish to submit their interests and wanting further information can do so by contacting the CIFA office in Matavera on phone 28980.
– CIFA Media