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Cook Islands elect all-female board members to lead basketball growth
Photo: Gempton (13) winning the Gold Medal in the 2018 FIBA Polynesia Cup
AVARUA DISTRICT - Cook Islands Basketball Federation's (CIBF) newly elected board members are set to take on the challenge of developing the sport in the country with a fresh vision moving forward.
The all-female board will be led by President, Richelle Gempton, Vice President Keziah Lewis, Secretary, Jessie Sword, and Treasurer Tessa Vaetoru.
"We are extremely excited for this opportunity and raring to prove the direction that our Federation is taking moving forward. CIBF has great foundations with our programs and our partnership with schools and recent success in international competitions especially in women's basketball has shown the potential of basketball in our country," shared CIBF President, Richelle Gempton.
Gempton and Lewis were part of the 2018 Cook Islands National team that won the FIBA Women's Polynesia Cup the same year.
"We are keen to build on the momentum we have gained over the past years, competing in international competitions and introducing the sport to the youth with our community programs," Gempton shared.
One of the programs being prepared by CIBF is Mini Basketball, which has garnered the support of FIBA's Foundation with their proposal after joining the Mini Basketball Online Seminars early this year.
"We have already started going to schools which is important to our growth, but we are excited to launch Mini Basketball soon and establish a basketball program for the youth is something we are very keen to start soon. We want the interest of the kids to grow stronger while providing them education on the advantage of being fit and healthy," Gempton shared.
With the FIBA Polynesia Cup, FIBA Youth Championships, returning next year, and the Pacific Games in 2023, CIBF is starting to prepare for the competitions ahead.
"We have performed well in the previous years including our FIBA 3x3 World Cup appearance in 2016, and we are hoping to continue the momentum. It's important to show the youth the pathway that they can put in as their goals so we can give them a platform to showcase their talent to the world," Gempton said.
The new CIBF board credits the previous members for the foundation laid by their predecessors but is raring to take the game to the next level.
"Basketball's popularity is continuing to rise in the country and we are very excited on this journey of making it bigger, with the right support and effort from our officials, I am confident we are in a great position to deliver on our goals and objectives," Gempton ended.