Race to enter, locals urged

By David Ogilvie

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Masters Games boss Mike Cronin is asking where the Wanganui competitors are with hundreds missing from the event compared to last year.

Locals considering taking part in the Games have precious little time left to make their move, Mr Cronin said.

With only one day left before the Games' opening ceremony tomorrow night, entry figures stood at 4811, with the Wanganui/Rangitikei/Ruapehu area "dragging the chain".

"Wanganui's entry, going on a target figure of the 2011 Games total of 2400, stood at 1740, which was 93 per cent of the city's figure a few days out in 2011. In raw figures, that's 660 behind the last Games total at the finish" he said.

Rangitikei's total was at 88 per cent of the figure reached in 2011 and Ruapehu was further down at 38 entries against 71 in 2011, or 54 per cent.

"Where are the Wanganui people?" asked Mr Cronin.

"We know they leave it very late because they don't have to worry about accommodation, but they run the risk of missing out altogether because sports have to make their draws."

Mr Cronin disputes suggestions there is nothing new at the Games for people who have been coming for some time.

"There's heaps of new stuff, the fun packages are waiting there for youe. I can't believe people are saying there is nothing in there for them."

Several sports still have a large number of individual entries to make to equal the number of teams entered and this will swell the final numbers.

"For example, there are still roughly 100 football individuals to register, 50 in basketball, cricket needs 60 and touch close to 100."

Supporters' passes number 270 and they normally reach between 600 to 700.

Mr Cronin's hoping for a late surge - and warns locals not to run out of time. Register at www.nzmg.com.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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