Sport in The Cook Islands
Cook Islanders love their sport, though the most popular are netball and rugby union. The Cook Islands compete as a part of netball's Oceania region. Because of the level of organization and the game's development, The Republic of Cook Islands has participated in several international events including the Pacific Games, the Commonwealth Games, the World Games, the Oceania Netball Tournament, the World Youth Netball Championship, and the International Challenge Men's and Mixed Netball Tournament. Considering the country's size, the team has had considerable success. Its highest world ranking was 10th.
Like in many of the other islands of the Pacific region, rugby union is a popular sport. The Cook Islands national rugby union team began playing on the international stage in 1971.
A notable rugby sports player in the Cook Islands is Kevin Leslie Iro. He is a former professional rugby league international footballer who has represented both New Zealand and the Cook Islands. In his domestic career, his achievements include playing in the Challenge Cup final for Leeds, Wigan and St. Helens. Iro is the younger brother of New Zealand rugby league international Tony Iro.
Lawn bowling is also a popular sport in the Cook Islands. There are at least six clubs including Ikurangi Women's Bowling Club, Parekura Men's Bowling Club, Parekura Women's Bowling Club, and Rarotonga Men's Bowling Club.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to the Cook Islands. Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let us know.
Popular sports of the Cook Islands
- Netball, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Football (Soccer), Lawn Bowls
The Cook Islands Sporting Success
- Cook Islands competed in the Netball World Cup from 1987 to 2007, their best result finishing 5th in 1991.
Athletes from the Cook Islands
- Kevin Leslie Iro (rugby league)
Cook Islands Sports trivia
- In 1924 a rugby union team of players from Rarotonga, which included Sir Albert Henry, played the All Black Invincibles who were on their way to the United Kingdom. The game was drawn 0–0.
Cook Islands at major events
Past sporting events hosted in the Cook Islands
- 1985 South Pacific Mini Games in Rarotonga
- 1986 Pacific Games
- 1986 Rugby league Pacific Cup
- 2009 South Pacific Mini Games in Rarotonga
Upcoming sporting events in the Cook Islands
Annual sporting events held in the Cook Islands
- Manea Games - an annual eleven-day sports festival, including netball, athletics, cricket, darts, soccer, rugby sevens, table tennis, tennis, touch rugby, volleyball and traditional games.
Sporting Facilities in the Cook Islands
- Tereora Stadium (also known as the National Stadium) - a multi-purpose stadium in Avarua, Rarotonga.