Palmerston North will play host to the 38th annual North Island Colgate Games, New Zealand's National Junior Athletics Championship, from Friday to Sunday.

The games have received more than 4000 entries from aspiring athletes aged seven to14.

The 2016 Colgate Games ambassador and New Zealand champion 1500m runner Julian Matthews says he is excited to check out the sporting talent on offer at this year's games.

"I remember when I competed at the Colgate Games, it was the most nervous I had ever been, but having the opportunity to compete against a great calibre of athletes, really prepared me for my professional sporting career today."


As well as medal glory, Nick Willis Scholarships are on offer to those who have outstanding performances throughout the Colgate Games. The scholarship gives recipients funds to put towards sports gear, coaching, travel and other resources to help them achieve their athletics goals.

The South Island Games will be held at Saxton Oval, Nelson on January 15-17.

Bay of Plenty clubs will send 50 athletes to Palmerston North with six others competing in Nelson. Greerton Athletics Club has the largest representation with 16.