Boys and girls of all ages and abilities combined for the inaugural ‘She Shines’ festival at the Cook Islands Football Association Complex in Matavera.

Initiated by the Cook Islands Football Association (CIFA), the event brought women from all walks of life together last Wednesday.

Various information booths such as the Cook Islands Family Welfare Association, police, women in business, sports and community groups were set up on the day with football activities in between.

The day concluded with fitness in the form of cultural dance activities by CC Tamure Fitness.

CIFA Women’s Development Officer Tupou Patia-Brogan said women empowerment was the purpose behind the event.

“I wanted women walking away feeling empowered while encouraging as many as I could to play football here in the Islands,” she said.

“Not only did the event bring women together but also men making it a full day of memories and fun.

“It also created a support network for local businesses, which was important, and I hope we will be able to help each other more in the near future.”

On Saturday, boys and girls from U-15 and U-18 grades kicked off the Kia Orana Youth Festival with a total of 15 games.

The week-long event involves 10 football clubs across the Islands – Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke, Mitiaro, Avatiu, Puaikura, Takitumu and Tupapa Maraerenga – and will run until May 8.

Keep up to date on all the action via the CIFA Facebook page and website.