Miss Cook Islands embracing a new different side

By Alina Lackerbauer ,

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MISS COOK ISLANDS: Tepaeru Toka.

MISS COOK ISLANDS: Tepaeru Toka. (Photo: Sarafina Sanerivi )

Tepaeru Toka knows the task at hand is a difficult one.

But representing her home country Cook Islands and knowing she has their full support, she is preparing for the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant on Friday with confidence.

The 21-year-old is the youngest child of a family of five from the island of Aitutaki.

“My whole family is excited but not just them. The whole island of Aitutaki is being so supportive. It is an incredible feeling,” she said.

Participating in the Miss Pacific Islands Pageant brings out a totally different side of Tepaeru. 

As a player of the national soccer team she has been representing her country for a while, yet this competition is not the same. 

“This is the first time that it is something else than soccer. It feels like a new me. I have been traveling for soccer since I was 14 but this is the first time I am traveling for something else.”

Tepaeru is not only a soccer girl but enjoys playing golf and volleyball as well. Apart from sports she loves arts, crafts and dancing. Tepaeru said being Miss Cook Islands was not part of her plan at all. However, when she contested the Miss Cook Islands last year, she thought she would try something fun. 

She came second but because the winner of the pageant already took part in the competition for the Miss Pacific Islands, it was now Tepaeru’s time to shine.

“It was shocking, yet at the same time exciting.”

Tepaeru is enjoying her stay in Samoa even though she gets almost no time to rest as she has to attend several events every day.

“I am busy, but good.”

 She is looking forward to Friday, the most important day of the week and sets her hopes high. 

The preparations are going great and Tepaeru is ready to take the title with her back to the Cook Islands.

 “We just have to do some polishing and then we are good to go.”

Tepaeru’s topic for the Pre-Pageant interview is not only the theme of this years pageant, but also very close to her heart: “Celebrating our history and embracing our future”

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