New Zealand Masters Games on Track for Saturday Opening
Yesterday’s flooding in Dunedin hasn’t dampened the spirits of competitors who are beginning to pour into the city for the Otago Community Trust New Zealand Masters Games which start tomorrow.
The deluge of rain yesterday receded overnight and all sporting venues for the Games are expected to recover fully by the start of competition on Saturday.
Games Manager, Vicki Kestila says the competitor count is still rising as new people register but she expects the final number of competitors to be around 4500.
“Our numbers are tracking on a par with 2016, maybe with a small increase. The majority of competitors are aged between 30-50 years but we do have more than 400 people aged 70 plus. We’ve also got competitors coming from Australia, USA, Canada, Sweden, Ghana, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Germany and Denmark.”
Dunedin’s Ice Stadium is shaping up to become a popular venue for both competitors and spectators alike during the Games. The Ice Stadium will host an impressive line-up of international ice figure skaters, 16 ice hockey teams – which include a team from Canada, and more than 100 curlers.
There’s a total of 60 different sporting events and this year the most popular team sports are netball with 58 teams and football with 48 teams. New events include the triple stadium stair challenge, walking netball and beach volleyball.
The University of Otago campus is once again home to the Games Village where nightly entertainment will not only attract competitors but locals alike.
The Games begin on Saturday and the Opening Ceremony, with the traditional competitor march past will be held at 7.30pm in the Games Village. The Games will be officially opened by the Hon David Clark and the Games ambassadors, rugby legend, Sir Bryan Williams and former Silver Fern, Jodi Brown, will both give an address.