Brief History of Masters Athletics in the Cook Islands

The participation by David Lobb and Tupui Henry in the 7th Oceania Masters Athletics Championships in Suva,Fiji in July 1994 sparked the initial interest in masters athletics in the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands first medal was won by David Lobb at the 2002 OMA Championships in Geelong, Australia.
Having seen what was involved in the organising of such Championships, David convinced Athletics Cook Islands, of which he was an executive member, that the Cooks could stage such a Championships. In 2000 the Oceania Council at the Norfolk Island Championships approved the Cook Islands bid for the 2004 OMA Championships to be held in Rarotonga.
The hosting of the Oceania Championships on the grass track of Tereora National Stadium in October 2004, provided a catalyst for masters athletics on Rarotonga, with some 27 Cook Islands masters participating in these Championships.
Following the successful hostingof the 2004 OMA Championships, annnual Cook Islands masters athletics meeting has been held on Gospel Day (October 26) each year, which in 2010 was extended to a 3-day event with short athletics programs on the two days preceding Gospel Day.
Despite the Cook Islands, and Rarotonga in particular, having small populations even when compared to some of the other island affiliates, small Cook Island teams have consistently attended OMA Championships. After the Rarotonga Championships the Cook Islands were represented by 12 athletes at the 2006 Christchurch Championships and 11 at the 2008 Townsville Championships, at both of which the Cook Islands won the Inter-Island Challenge Shield for the best Island affiliate team. The biggest and most successful team to travel overseas to an OMA Championships were the 19 athletes and several supporters at the 2010 Tahiti Championships, who returned with 60 medals. The Cook Islands was again represented by 9 athletes at the 2012 Tauranga Championships in New Zealand.