Thousands of aspiring athletes will get to see two Olympic heroes in person at the opening ceremony of the NZCT AIMS GAMES International Sporting Championships.
Olympic Gold medallist and former Tauranga man Mahe Drysdale and Silver medallist Sarah Walker will open the sporting tournament to more than 6,000 young athletes on September 9 at the TECT Arena.
Tournament director Vicki Semple said having Mahe and Sarah attend the opening ceremony would be ``such a thrill'' for the athletes and guests.
``It will really set the theme for the games and I'm absolutely delighted Mahe and Sarah have taken time out of their very busy schedules to come along.''
Drysdale and Walker attended Bay of Plenty intermediate schools and have a strong commitment to the region and continue to support athletes and events in the area, she said.
Noel More, principal of Kawerau Putauaki School where Walker attended, was delighted she will be at the opening ceremony.
``Sarah is a great role model for our students to look up to, she's always been a neat kid and with her great achievements, definitely something for the students to aspire towards,'' he said.
At the opening ceremony, students from throughout the region will provide entertainment and showcase their talents.
The night will kick off at 6pm with a welcoming performance from the Otumoetai Intermediate Kapa Haka group.
More than 6,000 athletes and 1,200 coaches, managers and supporters from 165 schools, including two from Australia, will take part in the NZCT AIMS GAMES competition, from September 9 to 14.