Organisers hoping for final flurry

By Staff Reporter

There are 11 days still to go before the 22nd New Zealand Masters Games starts in Wanganui and organisers are confident the entry total will at least mirror that of the 6004 achieved in 2011.

Yesterday's standing total was 4427, and event manager Mike Cronin said 1800 people entered in the final three weeks of 2011.

``We're tracking around the 6000-mark at present and that was what we were targeting,'' said Cronin.

The biggest sport for the February 1-10 Games is, as always, football.

There were 499 confirmed yesterday, compared to the final figure of 533 in 2011.

Netball stands at around 353, while the road run/walks total is 393, which is some way down on the 2011 figures.

The outstanding performer of the road runs in 2011, Katikati's Sally Gibbs, has entered only the 10km run this time, citing injury problems as the reason for her very light load compared to the mass of events she took part in two years ago.

Cronin says sports like bocce, dog-handling, gymnastics, softball and the Twilight 400 have all bettered their previous figures, while most others were around 75 per cent of their 2011 final totals.

He also expects a large increase in supporters' passes, which usually represent 10 per cent of the entries.

Wanganui remains the largest contributor to entries with 1622, followed by Manawatu (531), Wellington (498), and Auckland (393), which is well down on the 2011.

Taranaki is also trailing with 292 versus 416 last time.

Wellington produced 583 entries in 2011 and Manawatu 637.

The interesting statistic so far is the widening gap between men and women's entries with the ladies having clearly more, which Cronin cannot understand.

People still wanting to enter can contact

Games village building supervisor Les Lunny still badly needs volunteers on some or all of the next 10 days to assist constructing parts of the village.

The call is for no special skills, just enthusiasm.

Anyone can see him in the Games tent at Springvale Park from 8.30am today.-->

- Wanganui Chronicle

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