MEDIA RELEASE

Embargoed until 8am, Friday 5 December, 2014

World Masters Games 2017 venues to showcase all of Auckland

Sports within the official programme of World Masters Games 2017 will be hosted at 45 competition venues across Auckland and the Waikato.

The World Masters Games 2017 Organising Committee today released the footprint for the Games that has 28 sports within its official programme. It will be the largest event New Zealand will host in the next decade.

Chief Executive of World Masters Games 2017 Jennah Wootten said 25,000 athletes and 10,000 supporters were likely to converge on Auckland for the event.  Selection of competition venues was paramount to delivering a world-class sporting event and as such, athlete experience had been put in the centre of the selection process.

“We have selected venues that can cater to the size and scale of competition and showcase our city best.  We are thrilled that all points of Auckland will host competition and that athletes will experience some of the city’s finest scenery and hospitality across North, South, East, West and Central Auckland,” she said.

Notable highlights for international athletes will include the use of the Woodhill Forest for mountain biking and long distance orienteering, Torbay for sailing and Takapuna Beach for four sport disciplines – ocean swimming, surf lifesaving, waka ama marathon and canoe ocean ski.  Auckland’s waterfront will be the location of the half marathon and 10km event, cycling time trial and triathlon with the cycling criterium to be held at Wynyard Quarter.

Two competition venues in Cambridge – Lake Karapiro and the Avantidrome – have been selected because of the quality of the facilities on offer for rowing and track cycling respectively.

Along with venues that showcase Auckland’s natural beauty, many of the facilities offer a world-class competition environment.  Currently under construction, the international standard National Aquatic Centre at AUT Millennium will be home to swimming and water polo, softball will be played at the North Harbour Softball Stadium which was upgraded for last year’s World Championships, and canoe slalom will be located at Wero, the new state of the art venue in Manukau which yesterday held its earth turning ceremony.

CEO of AUT Millennium, Mike Stanley, said AUT Millennium is proud to be hosting three sports for World Masters Games 2017.  “Swimming and water polo will be held in our new, world class National Aquatic Centre due to be opened in June 2015, and we will also host weightlifting which doubles as the annual IWF Masters World Championship.  The Games will showcase our beautiful city, its wonderful people and the many excellent facilities Auckland has to offer.  We look forward to welcoming masters athletes from all around the world in the spirit of friendship and competition.”

Ms Wootten noted that, wherever possible, competition venues had been clustered for ease of athlete travel. “Roughly half our competitors will be international visitors, and quarter will come from outside of Auckland. Many visitors choose to stay near their sporting location however we still need to ensure it is simple for them to travel around Auckland, and to get to the Games entertainment hub.”

In tandem with the venues announcement, World Masters Games 2017 today announced a further group of iconic sporting New Zealanders has joined its team of Games ambassadors.

“We are delighted that former Silver Ferns captain Anna Stanley, Olympic bronze medal rower Nathan Twaddle and multiple world masters sailing supremo, Mark Orams have accepted our invitation to become part of our ambassador programme,” Ms Wootten said.

They join International Goodwill Ambassador Lord Sebastian Coe and New Zealand ambassadors Hamish Carter, Anthony Mosse, Jenny-May Coffin, Garth Barfoot, Susie Simcock, Bryan Williams, Allison Roe, Cory Hutchings and Noah Hickey.

“Through our ambassadors, who collectively represent so many different sports and experiences, we will be able to communicate the size and scale of this event and its importance to the masters sporting movement globally,” she said.

“Many of the group are former elite athletes who have chosen to continue with their passion until much later in life. However equally, many of our ambassadors are looking to try their hand at new sports and will train for something different this time around. This reflects that the World Masters Games is an event for anyone to get involved with. There are no qualifying criteria other than the minimum age for each sport and ability is only part of the story. Camaraderie and the enjoyment of competition is as much an ethos of our Games.”

“Selection of the 28 sports and 45 competition venues required to deliver World Masters Games 2017 had been a major priority in 2014,” said Ms Wootten.  “Our focus for 2015 will be on important aspects of Games preparation such as volunteer recruitment, athlete registration processes, detailed sports programme planning and celebrating two years to go.”

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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 45 competition 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