February is beginning to have a real international flavour with guests from all corners confirming their appearance at the NZ Masters Games. Press Officer David Ogilvie sums up the state of entries for the February 1-10 event in Wanganui.
Two of the most interesting recent entries for the 2013 New Zealand Masters Games come from the tiny town of Almonte in Ontario, Canada.
Interestingly, not because of where they come from, but 58-year-old Carolyn Carrothers and 59-year-old Stephen Fannell have both entered the blokart event to be held on Ohakea Air Force base.
Almonte used to be a large mills town, with 40 stores and 30 other businesses in 1870 according to reference base Wikipedia, but times change and just 5000 people now live in the town.
Clearly some of them possess the desire to travel and do their sport at speed!
Gregor Reid is another entry under the Canada banner, although he will play for the mostly Auckland-based ICPP football side.
Blokarting has been dominated by the Auckland and Palmerston North clubs at the previous Games, and because the two Canadians have entered the C division, they're unlikely to change that.
Another recent addition is Sri Lankan swimmer Umagiliya Premadosa, who has entered five pool events.
He joins fellow Sri Lankan and constant visitor Dr Gerard Lucas, who concentrates on table tennis.
Entries going into Christmas stand at just a few over 3100, good enough at this stage to make Games manager Mike Cronin pretty happy.
"We're rapt with the entry numbers which are running 15 per cent ahead of the same stage before the 2011 Games," he said.
"It's also great to see Wanganui people getting in ahead of Christmas with nearly 200 more registered entries than before Christmas 2010."
Cronin noted the new entertainment line-up and also the Olympian theme and suggested people use some of the time in their Christmas break organising an appropriate costume for the games. Greek or Olympian, it doesn't matter, suggests Cronin.
Entries close in two weeks on January 11, after which a late entry fee will take over.
Wanganui leads the New Zealand entries with 1191 31 of them in the past week followed by Manawatu (374), Wellington (337), Auckland (209), Taranaki (180), Waikato (114) and Bay of Plenty (108).
NB Correction was make to Stephen Fannell name on 13th Jan 2013