MEDIA RELEASE

Embargoed until 8am, Friday 27 June, 2014

New Zealand’s sporting culture to be showcased at World Masters Games 2017

Athletes from around the world can now start planning their travel and training schedules for World Masters Games 2017.  Today 28 sports and 45 disciplines have been confirmed into the sporting programme.  Eight sports offer a para class.

A feature of the 28 sports is the inclusion of uniquely Pacific sports or disciplines such as waka ama within the sport of canoe/kayak and Weta class sailing within the sport of sailing which will give the international event a distinctly kiwi feel.

World Masters Games 2017 Chief Executive Jennah Wootten said 16 sports within the programme are core and must be staged but the remaining optional sports offer an opportunity for the host city to bring something new to the table.

“Naturally we’ve woven in sports that are important to New Zealand’s sporting culture – such as rugby, netball and touch – as well as a range of sports that will showcase our stunning beaches, harbours, lakes and waterfront, all of which are a key part of Auckland’s world-class reputation as a beautiful harbour city.”  Ms Wootten added that sports such as orienteering and mountain biking will take visitors into some of the region’s beautiful forests and native bush.

Ms Wootten also announced a further four ambassadors have agreed to join the inaugural five – Hamish Carter, Anthony Mosse, Jenny-May Coffin, Garth Barfoot and Susie Simcock – announced as part of the ‘three years to go’ milestone event on 30 April.

The expanded legendary line-up features former All Black Bryan Williams, athletics’ Allison Roe, surf lifesaver Cory Hutchings and football international, Noah Hickey.  “We are extremely fortunate to have such an amazing groups of masters’ sports advocates join our ambassadors team to help us tell the World Masters Games 2017 story here and overseas,” said Ms Wootten.

The announcement of the sports codes and disciplines is a major milestone in World Masters Games 2017 planning and delivery.  “We have worked very closely with sports organisations of New Zealand throughout what has been an extremely robust process,” said Ms Wootten.  “I would like to thank them for the way in which they have worked with World Masters Games 2017.  We know the contracted sports will form the backbone of a programme that ensures we stage the best Games ever and features all that is great about Auckland and New Zealand.”

Peter Miskimmin, Chief Executive of Sport NZ, said the sports selected provide many options for masters athletes, no matter what age or capability, and truly bring to life the ‘sport for all’ ethos.  “We expect masters athletes from around the world will enjoy the chance to try some new sports along with the old favourites,” said Mr Miskimmin.  “We will work closely with each of the sports organisations selected and with World Masters Games 2017 to ensure the development of individual sports programmes and their delivery meets the highest standards.”

Core sports are archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, canoe/kayak, cycling, football, hockey, orienteering, rowing, shooting, softball, squash, table tennis, triathlon and weightlifting.

The 12 optional sports are baseball, golf, lawn bowls, netball, sailing, rugby, surf lifesaving, swimming, tennis, touch, volleyball and water polo.

As is customary, two sports – weightlifting and orienteering – will hold their annual World Masters Championships at World Masters Games 2017.

The eight para sports are archery, athletics, canoe/kayak, rowing, table tennis, tennis, lawn bowls and swimming.

With the critical sports selection process complete, Ms Wootten said the planning team will now turn its attention to the evaluation and selection of the more than 45 venues required to deliver World Masters Games 2017.  “We expect to announce the venues, including those for the opening and closing ceremonies, before the end of the year.”  

- ends -

For further information please contact:

Jill Dryden, Communications Manager – Ambassadors, World Masters Games 2017

Tel: 021 549 576

NOTE:

About World Masters Games 2017

The World Masters Games is the largest multi sport event in the world.  In terms of athlete numbers, it is bigger in scale than even the Olympics. Auckland will host the event from 21 to 30 April 2017 during which time 25,000 athletes will compete in 28 sports across some 45 venues.  The Games are regarded as the largest event New Zealand will host in at least the next decade.  The cost of staging the event in Auckland will be $34 million.  Auckland Council and the New Zealand Government have each approved $11 million investment with the remaining $12 million to come from revenues including athlete registrations and sponsorship.

For more information visit www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz

About Barfoot & Thompson

Barfoot & Thompson is the presenting partner for World Masters Games 2017.  It is New Zealand’s largest, privately owned real estate company and is still run by the Barfoot and Thompson families after more than 90 years.  Barfoot & Thompson consistently sells around one in three homes in the Auckland region and manages more than 11,000 rental properties, well ahead of competitor brands.

For more information visit www.barfoot.co.nz