Organiser stays calm as rain belts down

By john.maslin@wanganuichronicle.co.nz, John Maslin


The man guiding the 13th biennial NZ Masters Games isn't going to let anything rain on his parade, even the persistent precipitation that fell on the city for much on Monday night and throughout yesterday.

Mike Cronin, event manager for the NZ Masters Games in Wanganui, said the last time rain intervened was during the games of 2003 and 2005 but events then, as now, were able to be rescheduled.

"We had a few sports affected today. For example, cricket, lawn bowls and slow pitch softball cancelled their programmes but in most cases - and weather permitting - they will be back on track tomorrow," Cronin said yesterday.

Ironically crews were watering the grounds around the village on Sunday to keep the dust down.

Yet while the rain did put a damper on a handful of outside events, Cronin said the games were running smoothly.

"The rain put a little glitch in things but nothing major. We haven't changed our programme at the village because we've got some flexibility there."

Registrations were now at 5200 and continued to climb.

"We've been doing about 100 a day since the games opened last Friday. We haven't analysed whether they're locals or out-of-towners but this always happens.

"They sometimes register because they become part of a team or they may be adding a sport because that's their choice."

Cronin said they also count supporters passes in that number as well. These are usually the people who want to be part of the activities in the village and in the main tent in the evening.

He said this was the third time the NZ Masters Games had held its official opening on Friday night and there were good numbers attending this year.

"But I think a number of the competitors planned an early night because they had their events first thing on Saturday. Saturday night was great while last night was affected a bit by the weather," he said.

And he said feedback from the competitors continued to be positive.

"There are people that are hooked on these events."

The weather didn't appear to be driving competitors into town.

The Big Orange Caf and Element Caf said patron number had been down in the past couple of days, as was usual during wet weather. Embassy3 Cinemas manager Gary Vinnell said the number of people through his doors always increased when it rained.

"But we haven't had an influx of Masters Games competitors," he said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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