HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 584: 05 October 2011

Our answer to the Olympics
The Manea Games is the country’s answer to the Olympics, which is an 11-day festival of sport. The games have been running every four years and its island against island.
The games first started on the island of Mangaia in 1997 and has now returned back to the island to start the second rounds.
There are traditional and contemporary events and participants take the competition very seriously. Training is full-on before the games and there is a lot of pride on the line.
The games take place from October 13 to 23 to coincide with school holidays. It’s a time crammed with sporting events, dancing and cultural festivities, day and night. Of course, there is opening and closing ceremonies.
There are six compulsory sports: athletics, rugby sevens, netball, soccer, touch rugby and volleyball. There also fierce cricket, darts, soccer, tennis and netball competitions.
Other events include wrestling on stilts, spinning tops, breadfruit throwing, lime and passion fruit juggling, taro mashing, plaiting coconut leaves and coconut husking. They are all great fun but still seriously competitive.
They go back to the days when there were no sporting fields and locals made do with what they had. What they lack in bright lights and fancy stadiums is more than compensated with spirit and enjoyment.
A beautiful part of the games is the emphasis on including children. They are taught to play traditional games by elders, and in the process learn more about their cultural history. Also a beauty pageant is held at every Manea Games. Young girls from various islands compete for the title of Miss Manea Games. The winner holds the title throughout the festival and for two years until the next games. -Tiare Ponini

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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