Masters say there'll be room for two in 2017

By Iain Hyndman

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Games manager Mike Cronin lights the torch to open the 2013 NZ Masters Games. Photo/Bevan Conley
Games manager Mike Cronin lights the torch to open the 2013 NZ Masters Games. Photo/Bevan Conley

The Wanganui Events Trust is confident the New Zealand Masters Games and the World Masters can live alongside each other in 2017.

Three years from now, New Zealand will host the World Masters Games for the first time, in Auckland.

At the launch of the event this week, it was revealed that the Worlds would run over a 10-day period from April 21-30 - just two months after the traditional timeframe for the New Zealand Masters in Wanganui.

The NZ Masters Games franchise is owned by Wanganui and hosted in the River City every second year with Dunedin holding it in alternate years.

The popular event is administered by the Wanganui Events Trust and its manager Mike Cronin confirmed yesterday the Wanganui competition would go ahead as usual in 2017.

"We have known from day one that Auckland would host the World Masters in 2017 and, while further analysis needs to be done, we are confident it won't impact negatively on our games.

"The World Masters is a first for New Zealand and, in fact, the New Zealand franchise has been instrumental in helping Auckland prepare - we have been liaising regularly. The World Games, of course, will attract large numbers of international visitors and it could be some take part in both games."

The Worlds is the largest multisport event in the world - in terms of competing athletes, it is bigger than the Olympics.

The Auckland event is expected to attract 25,000 athletes who will compete in approximately 30 sports across some 45 venues, with more than 100 countries represented.

In contrast, the New Zealand Masters in Wanganui has at peak attracted over 8000 competing in 67 sports.

The Auckland launch this week also included the announcement of a group of ambassadors dubbed the "famous five" who have agreed to contribute their time to promote the games.

The five inaugural ambassadors are Olympic swimming bronze medallist Anthony Mosse, Olympic triathlon gold medallist Hamish Carter, real estate businessman and masters sports disciple Garth Barfoot, former Silver Fern and TV sports presenter Jenny-May Coffin and one of New Zealand's leading sports administrators, Susie Simcock.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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