HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 570:29 June 2011

Woman of the Month of May - Gail Townsend

Gail Townsend’s unfaltering generosity and commitment to the sport of oe vaka and education in the Cook Islands makes her the ideal candidate for ‘Women of the Month’. Although not a Cook Islander Gail has lived here for the last 10 years, and continues to give her time freely to others without hesitation. She became a Permanent Resident in 2008.
Before coming here to the Cooks, she was teaching in Tarawa, Kiribati and still, Gails profession lies in Education. She currently has her BSc Chemistry, Master in Science Education and she is currently studying towards a PhD in Education. She is the youngest of three daughters and she enjoys keeping fit by running, cycling and participating in the odd triathlon. She also enjoys her trips to explore Europe along with European food and wine. Gail is a skilled musician who can play the flute, violin and piano and she also teaches music. As we spoke with her today, we could tell she was ‘animal crazy’ judging by the way she was petting the Herald cat, “ I used to keep the little baby chicks and out them in my socks till they were old enough to go out on their own, that’s how animal crazy I am! Ha ha ha” Gail is a dedicated Christian, raised Presbyterian, practicing Methodist and she belongs to the Cook Islands Canoeing Association and was involved in the Cook Islands Athletics from 2003 to 2006.
Gail first became involved in oe vaka in 2005. Although not a paddler herself, she became an administrator within the Cook Islands Canoeing Association and held the post of Secretary from 2007 to 2009. During the 2007 South Pacific Games and 2009 Pacific Mini-Games campaigns Gail was elected manager for the men’s squad, both proving successful campaigns for the men’s squad. Further to this, Gail has been a core member of the Vaka Eiva organizing committee since 2005.
She has extended her skills in this area to the Cook Islands Canoeing Association with both local and international junior (Under 19yrs) paddlers. Prior to the shift of the Vaka Eiva event to the end of November, many juniors had to sit exams during the event. Gail assisted junior paddlers in sitting their exams by being the liaison between CICA and the Ministry of Education to coordinate and ensure that these students were keeping up with their educational requirements.
Over the years Gail has continued to assist junior paddlers with their educational needs, providing free tutoring sessions for a range of subjects, and age groups, to ensure that the balance between academic achievement and sporting excellence is achieved by junior paddlers. One of memorable experiences is being Team Mum during the 2007 SPG, she was team manager, Laundry maid, bed maker and nurse for the men’s canoeing team in Samoa. Most important thing to our Woman of the Month is family and education of others, and she hopes to be happy and helpful! Congratulations Gail, you very well deserve this, all the best.

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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