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QEII athletics track goes to charity

Earthquake damage to QEII Stadium, Christchurch. Photo / Geoff Sloan.
Earthquake damage to QEII Stadium, Christchurch. Photo / Geoff Sloan.

Pieces of Christchurch's historic QEII athletics track have been donated to the New Zealand Spinal Trust, who are offering them as unique pieces of memorabilia in a fundraising auction.

Christchurch City Council has gifted more than 100 pieces of the track, which was irreparably damaged in the February 2011 earthquake, for charity auction.

They have been numbered, mounted and transformed into collectors' items, and are now available online on Trade Me. The auctions will close on August 10.

Four pieces of note, including the exact spot where Dick Tayler famously fell triumphantly onto his back after winning the 10,000m race at the 1974 Commonwealth Games - have been specially mounted.

They include photographs, memorial plaques and the signatures of the athletes behind the stories: Tayler, Sir John Walker and Tanzania's Filbert Bayi have provided signatures to relevant pieces.

The track's entire finishing line - recovered intact by the trust - will be presented to Mayor Bob Parker, who will accept on behalf of the city.

Christchurch City Council Recreation and Sports Unit Manager John Filsell said: "This is a touching gesture from the New Zealand Spinal Trust to our community.

"We're hoping to have this piece of Christchurch history on display in the new athletics facility once it's built - a passing of the baton of sorts."

Demolition of most of the QEII Park Recreation and Sport Centre is to begin soon and will take about 18 weeks.

- APNZ

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