The Cook Islands Games were held last month ©Facebook/Cook Islands Sports

Cook Islands Sports and National Olympic Committee (CISNOC) secretary general Owen Lewis has claimed last month’s Cook Islands Games achieved its objective to bring people together.

The Cook Islands Games ran from October 3 to 17 on the island of Rarotonga.

Twenty-one sports featured on the programme.

Lewis, writing in the Cook Islands News, said the Games engaged the nation and believes the performances of athletes bodes well for future multi-sport events.

“We brought the islands and national federations together in July and started this event that engaged a whole nation and Cook Islanders around the world,” Lewis wrote.

“I challenge any other country to be able to do that.

“I have been humbled by the spirit and pride of each and every island and competing athlete.

“We wanted a “Games” and we got a celebration, a party that brought a nation together.

“On top of that we had some sport and not just social sport, sport of a high quality and performances that we can build on for future Pacific, Commonwealth and Olympic Games.”

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Lewis claimed the Games had recorded 12 million viewers worldwide.

He praised the efforts of the young Organising Committee and support staff associated with the event, particularly amid the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The CISNOC secretary general hopes the event also inspires people to remain active and ensure sport is a key part of society in the Cook Islands.

"The Games are proof that the Cook Islands is a sporting nation," Lewis wrote.

"We have a major role in ensuring our people stay active and live healthier lifestyles.

"The challenge to all in the sports sector is to keep this going, to ensure we develop sporting pathways for our young people whether in high performance sport or social, to ensure there are sports opportunities for us aged and ageing members of society and to ensure we have competitive opportunities for those who strive for higher honours.

"There is a lot to do but we have just been given a platform from which to start.

"CISNOC needs to do its part by continuing to support and advocate for its member federations, by challenging those same members to provide these programmes and opportunities and by continuing to lobby for resources to support all athletes and federations."

The next edition of the Games is due to take place in 2022.