For the first time in 44 years Whangarei will host the Masters’ Athletic Championships.
The Northland branch of New Zealand Masters Athletics are hosting the 44th annual championships at the Trigg Stadium at Kensington Park in early March.
Chairman of the organising committee Nigel Stewart says he is expecting around 180 athletes at the March 2-4 event.
“There will also be around 50 volunteer officials,” he says.
Competitors in the track and field events will range in age from 35-88 years.
“Many of these athletes hold national records and several hold world records in their respective events.
“Most athletes compete in an average of three events at each competition,” he says.
“This is the first time this event has been held here in Whangarei and I am hoping the local athletes do well in their age groups and even set new records.”
Around 40 athletes from Northland are expected to compete. Northland has fronted competitors since the inception of master competitions in the 70s and many have created and held New Zealand and world records.
Stewart says the organising committee has been busy obtaining sponsorship and donations to cover the cost of medals and the attendance of services such as St John.
Pole vault mats have been borrowed from a club in Auckland, but donations to help with the purchase of shirts for the officials would be welcomed.
“It would be good to have all the officials in the same shirt so they can be easily recognised,” he says. “More volunteers are needed to help run the event – if you have the time and would like to help please put your hand up.”
The competitions are held to promote older people into sport and fitness.
“It is a great way to keep aging people fit, Stewart says, noting the athletes are “very competitive and always keen to set new records”.
Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai will present the first round of medals on March 2 at approximately10am. Registrations are open until early February.
If you would like to enter go to: https://nzma2018.eventdesq.com/ or the Vetline magazine or phone Nigel 021 688 070.