Junior outriggers medals haul
THE JUNIOR outriggers of the Fraser Coast were definitely the youngest champions at the inaugural Vaka Eiva international cup in the Cook Islands.
The youngsters from the Kai Puna Outriggers Club, aged between 11 and 16, did themselves proud in the junior section of the carnival.
Coached by Kim Polglase, Christine LeMesurier and Michelle Tayler, the crew won gold in the 2km lagoon marathon event, silver in the 4km lagoon marathon event and bronze in the 250m sprints.
The juniors were also named the overall under-14s champions of Vaka Eiva.
The coaches said they were especially proud of the juniors who trained hard to be in form for their first-ever international event in Raratonga.
The competition was stiff, with several teams coming from New Zealand to take part and teams from the Pacific Islands also competing in the event.
Teams from the Sunshine Coast, who are usually the Fraser Coast’s main competition in Australia, also competed.
Ten women from the Kai Puna club also competed in the event and have already been invited back to compete again next year.
The club worked hard to get their team overseas, holding raffles and sausage sizzles. Local businesses also helped out and the club raised about $14,000 for their trip.
Polglase, who is also club president, said it was exciting to see so many people competing in the sport and reaching such a high level.