Generous stalwarts keep Games alive

By David Ogilvie

They number 37 in total - and New Zealand Master Games manager Mike Cronin considers them some of the heroes of the recently completed 22nd NZ Masters in Wanganui.

Cronin is talking about the "line" beneath the money sponsors - the "supporters and suppliers".

The Games people have been busy returning borrowed equipment to these firms over recent days, and Cronin says the Games could not take place without their help.

"There are those 30-40 local firms that do what they can, when they can. They see it as 'their donation' to the Games. Each year they say, when we ask, 'yep, we'll do that for you'. They do it because they appreciate the Games being in Wanganui," Cronin said.

Cronin says he put a rough price on such help a couple of Games ago and came up with the figure of $150,000.

"And that wouldn't have been all of it. The generosity of these people is mind-blowing, simply because 'it's for Wanganui'. We couldn't survive without them."

But Cronin also offers a huge vote of thanks to Silver Tier sponsors the Wanganui District Council, 94.4FM (The Sound), Suzuki, the Wanganui Chronicle, Computer Care IT Service Solutions, the Powerco Wanganui Trust, the NZCT, the Lion Foundation, and Whanganui Community Trust, bronze tier sponsors H and A Print, Mars Petcare, Horsley Christie, Kinoca Minolta and KiwiWebs, and medal sponsors Tasman Tanning and Propery Brokers.

There are other area/city firms which discount for the Games.

These Games operated without a naming sponsor, and as the hunt starts anew for that now rare creature, Cronin admits the Games will operate at a loss, which will be covered by the Wanganui Events Trust.

"We survive on sponsorship and the punter who comes in the gate. Revenue streams are down across the board, ad sponsorship is down - but the board is determined the quality of the event cannot be compromised.

"If the competitor goes away with a less than a brilliant experience, they won't come back - and we want them to come back and bring someone else with them," Cronin said.

Results from the usual competitor survey have few gripes and a lot of compliments, he says.

Surveys were sent by email to all competitors, with a cap of 1000 put on replies. That took just 36 hours to reach.

"The feedback is good - not too many rubbished it as a whole. Positives far outweighed the negatives, probably by 10 to one."

Cronin thanked the 10-plus volunteers for their dedicated work during the hot and occasionally wet days.

"They've been fabulous, people have commented on how helpful and friendly they've all been and that's so important."

Other supporters and suppliers for the NZ Masters Games the organisers wished to thank:

AB Kidd and Co Ltd, Alsco - Towel Services, Andersons, ANZ, Bridge Associates, Bell Physiotheraphy, Carters Building Supplies, Citibox Containers, Cohens, Dept of Corrections - Prison Labour, Dimocks Retrovision, Fastway Couriers, Fencetec, Forklift Supply and Service, Harvey World Travel, Hiremaster Wanganui, Hookers Pacific, Ian Brown (SH3 billboard site), I D Loaders, Interislander, McEwen Physiotheraphy, Morrie Gibbons Signs, Owens Curtain Service, Rainbow Furniture, Rotary Club of Wanganui South, Royal Woolf, Rachael Brandon Design Interiors, Sport Gisborne, Sport Wanganui, Sport Wellington, Springvale Garden Centre, Strong Electrical Limited, The Watershop, TSH Studio and Sound, Wanganui Cancer Society, Wanganui Security Services, The Renovators.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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