Athletics: 2017 National Champs confirmed for Hamilton

By Athletics New Zealand

Jacko Gill of Auckland competes in the 2016 National Track & Field Championships. Photo / Getty Images
Jacko Gill of Auckland competes in the 2016 National Track & Field Championships. Photo / Getty Images

Athletics New Zealand and Athletics Waikato Bay of Plenty have confirmed that the 2017 New Zealand Track and Field Championships will be held in Hamilton at Porritt Stadium in March next year.

After consultation with a number of groups, including Athletics Australia, the date has been set at 17-19 March 2016.

The last time the New Zealand senior championships were held in Hamilton was in 1999, although the Under 20 and Under 18 championships were held in the city in 2006.

Hamiltons Porritt Stadium is one of New Zealands premier athletics venues, hosting the Porritt Classic, New Zealands top one day annual meeting in February each year and has regularly hosted the biggest Track & Field meetings in the country, the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships and the North Island Colgate Games.

Porritt Stadium has also been the home track of a number of Olympians and Commonwealth Games medallists of recent years like Stuart Farquhar, Craig Barrett, Gavin Lovegrove, Phil Jensen, Julia Ratcliffe, Zane Robertson, and Nikki Hamblin, along with top calibre New Zealand representatives like Jake Robertson, Monique Dell, Ben Langton, Cam French, Ryan Ballantyne and Camille Buscomb.

Farquhar, the 17 times New Zealand javelin champion, who will be competing at his fourth Olympic Games in Rio, said he was excited about the championships coming to Hamilton.

"I won my first national senior title in 2000, and Ive never won a national champs on my home track. Ive had some of my best throws at Porritt Stadium. Its a good track to throw big," said Farquhar.

Murray Green, the chair of Athletics Waikato BOP is thrilled the championships will be returning to Hamilton after such a long break.

"We are excited to be able to host the NZ Track and Field Championships next year. It has been 18 years since we last hosted the senior championships and this will be the biggest event at Porritt Stadium track since our new track was laid at the beginning of 2015," Green said.

"The New Zealand Championships present a great opportunity for the people of Waikato to witness New Zealands very best senior and junior athletes in action," he added.

Athletics New Zealands Events Manager Gareth Archer, paid tribute local organisations for their part in bringing the championships to the city.

"Its exciting to work with local stakeholders keen to support an iconic event like the national championships, first held in 1878," said Archer.

"Weve got some innovative ideas to make the championships very appealing to both fans and also for people who havent been to an athletics meeting before," he added.

Fast Facts:

Event: NZ Track and Field Championships

Venue: Porritt Stadium, Hamilton

Dates: Friday - Sunday 17-19 March 2017

Grades: Senior, Under 20, Under 18, Para-Athletics

Teams: 11 regional teams from around NZ

Numbers: 600 NZ athletes, 20 overseas athletes, 3,000 fans and supporters, 150 officials, 50 volunteers

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Athletics New Zealand

- NZ Herald

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