Athletes

Alex Beddoes

Alex has developed into the number 1 male track athlete in the Cook Islands in 2013. He has specialised in the 800m distance and produced the fastest recorded 800m times by any Cook Islander in the history of Cook Islands Athletics.

 Alex has represented the Cook Islands at International events Winning Silver at the IAAF Oceania Champs in Tahiti 2013 in the Mens 800m Open Category, and setting a new Personal Best time and Cook Islands National Record.

 At the 2013 New Zealand Secondary Schools Championship he joined his schools 4x400m senior relay team winning the final and claiming the New Zealand National 4x400m Title and set a new New Zealand record in a time of 3:18:59.

 Alex completed his final year of College 2013, winning the colleges Athletics Champion Trophy, and setting the Colleges 800m record.

 Alex grew up on Ratonga before moving to New Zealand for chooling at Sacred Heart College where he was identified by the school's Athletics Programme where he began to run seriously. Alex lived his life long athletic dream by representing his country at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He competed in the 800m and finished with a time of 1:52.79 in his heat. He did not progress to the next round however he ended up with the season's best time. Alex will be looking towards his ultimate goal and preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 

The hard working track athlete is currently coached my Keith Roberts.

 

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Tereapii Tapoki

Tereapii Tapoki is a female discus thrower from Mauke. At age twenty, Tapoki made her official debut for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens where she competed in the womens discus throw event. She placed 40th in the qualifying rounds of the competition, with a throw of 48.12 metres.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Tapoki improved her performance by successfully throwing the discus into the field on her third and final attempt, at 48.35 metres. Tapoki, however failed to advance into the discus final, as she placed thirty-seventh overall in the qualifying rounds. Apii is also a police offiicer.

 

You would be hard-pressed to find an Olympic athlete who is also a cop – anywhere in the world. So the Cook Islands is in rare company with Tereapii Tapoki, a Police Officer with eight years of service and a very long history of world-wide competitions in Field events, including two Olympics: Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008).

 

That athletic history got serious at 14 when the young Tapoki was sent off to New Zealand under scholarship training for Shot Put and Discus – the latter her preference of the two, although she is also experienced in Javelin. Many world championship meets, dozens of countries, and strings of medals later, the added pressures of a career with the Police Service would be more than enough for most people.

But wait. There’s more. The Acting Sergeant is still engaged in top level international competition. This weekend Tapoki left for Turkmenistan where she’ll be aiming to peak with her Shot Put skills at the Indoor Asian and Martial Arts Games, in Ashgabat. To put that in perspective, the Cook Islands Police Officer will be among 6,000 athletes from 62 countries, competing in 21 sports at the biggest venue in Central Asia.

Tapoki will be away from the Frontline of the Police Service for one month – but as committed to athletics as she is to policing. How does she do it? Good question. The disciplines of police work and elite level training run together, in parallel, complimenting each other.

It’s a duality that comes with commitment and a very clear determination. In fact, her two roles just blend together with a unique style. While fulfilling duties as a senior officer, Tapoki maintains a mental track of her schedules for exercise and food intake. The training and diet regimes are critical and she finds a way to infuse her working profession with the right attitude. In effect, she’s planning and thinking on her feet. All the time. Automatically.

And why the Police? Like many of her colleagues, Tapoki has wanted this career ever since she was a young girl. Family probably had a lot to do with it since she’s following in the inspirational footsteps of her grandfather. Younger brother too has the police gene.

As an athlete, Tapoki has carved out her own space in our sports history. In the Police, she following similar ambitions, driven by an underlying need to redress an obvious gender imbalance – particularly at the most senior levels. Female Police Officers are clearly outnumbered in the Service and Tapoki wants to climb higher. The first female Inspector may well be in the wings already.

She’s presently Supervisor of her Unit in Frontline and has served in the CIB and Prosecution. But face-to-face with the community is where she’s most comfortable. The Acting Sergeant relishes the work and the responsibility she carries in putting things right. For many, confronting the ups and downs of police work, including troublesome offenders, would invoke a degree of apprehension. Tapoki though welcomes the challenge because it’s more of a higher duty – a willingness to see that situations are put right.

Elite athlete or motivated Police Officer, Tapoki is not about to slow down on achieving because deep down the commitment to take on anything new is what helps her most. And perhaps what helps our community be safer.

 

 

Personal bests

  • Shot put: 14.96 m NR – Tereora 11 October 2006
  • Discus throw: 57.61 m NR – Auckland 11 November 2006
  • Javelin throw: 45.85 m NR – Apia 14 December 2006

 

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Patricia Taea

Patricia Taea, long time national rep in Athletics had recenlty moved to the Gold Coast where she is based and on Scholarship under the Intenational Athletic Associations of Federation (IAAF) and Rio Olympics Scholarship through CISNOC. She is under the coaching guidance of Anthony Fairweather who is a former athlete for Asutralia and has elite australian runners of the years. She competed at the 2016 Polyneasian Athletics Championships held in Tahiti where she won Gold in the Womens 100m finals with a time of 12.30. she then went on to compete in the 200m and got a bronze with a time of 25.33.
 After competing in Tahiti Patricia went on to set a new personal best in the 100m in a time of 12.19 at the 2016 Melanesian Championship held in Fiji a month later. 

The double olympian sprinter became the Team Cook Islandsbest performng athlete at the Rio Olympic Games 2013. She placed 2nd in her heat in a time of 12.30. With this time it and placing she qualified to round one of the Preliminary Round of the Womens 100m even in which she managed to place 61st overall with a total of 152 registered athletes. This was of course th4e first time in history that one of our sprint athletes has ever made it into another round at an Olympic Games. It was a treasured moment that will always be rememberd in the Cook Islands. 

 

2017 has been a big year for Patty as she recorded two new personal best times which is also a national record for the Cook Islands in the 100m and 200m. 200m record in a time off 25.05 was set at the Oceania Athletics Area Championshiop in Fiji in the womens finals. 100m national record was set at the 2017 London World Athletics Championship in time of 12.18

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