Kiwis have just one month left to register for the world’s largest multi-sport event taking place in Auckland this year.
World Masters Games 2017 (WMG2017) will see some 25,000 participants taking part in 28 sports across 48 venues in Auckland and the Waikato from 21-30 April. Registrations for the Games close on Friday 3 March.
WMG2017 Chief Executive Jennah Wootten says more than 20,000 athletes and almost 2,000 supporters have already registered for the unique event but time is running out to commit.
“We’ve had a fantastic response from sports fans in New Zealand and around the world with athletes now registered from 93 different countries,” Ms Wootten says. “In fact, internationals outnumber kiwis by some margin which is a great result from the perspective of incremental GDP and visitor nights.”
Ms Wootten says competitors are coming in large numbers from Australia, Canada, UK, USA, Sweden, Finland, Japan, Germany, South Africa and Brazil.
“Around 8,000 New Zealanders have also joined up so far but as the host nation, we hope we can do better,” Ms Wootten says.
“This is a callout to all New Zealand sports lovers to take on the world. Six sports are fully sold out and others are nearing capacity, but many sports remain open – like netball, basketball, touch, baseball, water polo, rugby, the 10k and half marathon, ocean swim, dragon boat, triathlon, table tennis, lawn bowls, sailing and selected cycling disciplines.”
The six sold-out sports are archery, football, golf, hockey, squash and softball. With thousands of competitors taking part in these sports alone, the Games promise to pack out host venues across Auckland during the 10-day event in April. There are 48 venues stretching from North Auckland to the Waikato.
As with all other World Masters Games, there is generally no need to qualify or be selected to compete. Anybody over the minimum age for their chosen sport can take part. Entry ages vary by sport but generally start at 30 or 35 years.
The Games also feature 11 para-sports which are open to anyone over the minimum age who meet the disability classification requirements.
Ms Wootten says the drive to recruit volunteers for the event has also been extremely successful. Over the past last 11 months, thousands have held up their hand to become part of the event’s volunteer Pit Crew. Sufficient numbers have been reached and applications to be a Games volunteer have now closed.
“It’s been overwhelming to see the passion and enthusiasm from those eager to give up their time and contribute to the success of the Games. The Pit Crew volunteers will be a great asset to WMG2017,” she says.
Participants at WMG2017 will range from masters sporting greats, former Olympic and Commonwealth Games medal winners, to amateur athletes and teams who compete in the event for fun, for their lifelong love of sport, and to experience new countries and cultures.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to compete with athletes of all levels from all over the world right here on home soil,” Ms Wootten says.
“All participants are invited to the Opening Ceremony at Eden Park and social events at Queens Wharf, but you need to get in within the next month.”
For more information please visit www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz.
For further information please contact:
Chris Gregory, Media Manager – World Masters Games 2017 - Tel: 027 292 3601.
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 participants will compete in 28 sports across 48 competition venues. The Games are regarded as the largest event New Zealand will host in at least the next decade. For more information visit www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz.
WMG2017 seeks to deliver $30.8 million GDP and 244,000 visitor nights to Auckland’s economy and $53 million GDP and 266,000 visitor nights to the wider New Zealand economy. The Government ($11 million) and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development on behalf of Auckland Council ($11.75 million) have invested approximately two thirds of the $35.85 million required to stage the event with the remainder to come from registration fees ($8.5 million) and commercial sponsorship ($4.6 million).
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.
About World Masters Games 2017 valued partners
World Masters Games 2017 would like to thank its valued partners: Barfoot & Thompson, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on behalf of Auckland Council, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), International Masters Games Association (IMGA), Air New Zealand, SKYCITY Auckland, NZCT, Pita Pit, Volvo Cars New Zealand, Mediaworks, QMS, Airbnb, Fusesport, KPMG, Mighway, Hirepool, Ritchies, Brian Perry Charitable Trust, The Trusts Community Foundation and Grassroots Trust.