Tauranga Intermediate cross-country runner Renee Carey has her eye on setting a record - and given her recent results it's a goal that's within her reach.

The 11-year-old is one of 10,800 young athletes representing 326 schools next week at the 15th Anchor Aims Games, New Zealand's biggest sporting tournament.

The week of sporting action begins with sailing, cross country and gymnastics on Sunday, with 22 different codes being played throughout the week until September 14. Athletes will come from around New Zealand, Australia, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands to be part of it.

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Gearing up for the 15th Aims Games in Tauranga


A total of 827 runners are competing in the cross country, and Carey says she is "really excited" to be racing in the event she has been training hard for.

She aims to break the 11m 24s record for her Year 7 girls race, having recorded an 11m 25s run during the Bay of Plenty Poverty Bay Intermediate Schools Cross Country event last month.

With only one second to make up, she hopes for good weather conditions to help her on the day.

But cross country isn't the only sport she is focusing on. Carey is also taking part in the multisport and hockey competitions throughout the week.

Year 8 Tauranga Intermediate student Jackson Jones is looking forward to "doing my best" in the cross-country event and believes he has "a chance" to take out his race.

Once cross country is over the 13-year-old will focus on multisport.

Tauranga Ramblers president Malcolm Taylor is one of the many people behind the operation of different codes. With volunteers from Tauranga Intermediate School and Tauranga Ramblers club he will be helping to get the Waipuna Park cross-country course ready for the young athletes on Sunday.

Taylor, who has been involved since the beginning of Aims Games in 2004, looks forward to the young athletes taking on the "testing" course and is hoping for some good weather to help some Tauranga runners to break some of the records.


"You've got to have perfect conditions to run a record," he says, and he is optimistic about that.

Cross-country races will start from 10am on Sunday.

Although cross country is one of the more popular sports, it's netball that has the largest contingent of players at the games, with more than 1200 players in 124 teams.

This year's Aims Games will open on Sunday with a ceremony that will feature Olympic and world shot put champion Dame Valerie Adams as a guest speaker, alongside Paralympian swimmer Nikita Howarth.

Olympic and world shot put champion Dame Valerie Adams is the star attraction of Sunday's Aims Games opening ceremony at ASB Arena. Photo / File
Olympic and world shot put champion Dame Valerie Adams is the star attraction of Sunday's Aims Games opening ceremony at ASB Arena. Photo / File

Meanwhile, a series of warm-up zones will operate at venues throughout the games, with ambassadors including Black Ferns star Selica Winiata, who will drop into the rugby sevens at Blake Park on Monday, All White Te Atawhai Wihongi-Hudson heading to the football on Tuesday, and Silver Fern Kelly Jury taking netball warm-ups on Tuesday and Friday.

2018 Anchor AIMS Games, September 9-14

- 10,851 athletes

- 326 schools

- 22 sports

Sports by the numbers:

Badminton 207 players

Basketball 107 teams

BMX 95 riders

Canoe slalom 46 paddlers

Cross country 827 runners

Football 100 teams

Futsal 61 teams

Golf 61 players

Gymnastics 500 athletes

Performance 53 groups

Hockey 92 teams

Multisport 265 athletes

Netball 124 teams

Rock climbing 150

Rugby sevens 57 teams

Squash 83 players

Swimming 374 swimmers

Table tennis 182 players

Tennis 106 players

Water polo 33 teams

Yachting 80 sailors

Some athletes who have competed in Aims Games:


Olympic swimmer Matt Stanley (Matamata Intermediate), Black Sticks player Samantha Charlton (Otumoetai Intermediate), World champion rower Zoe Stevenson (Tauranga Intermediate) played hockey; All Black hooker Nathan Harris (Te Puke Intermediate), Black Caps fast bowler Adam Milne (Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School), Olympic sailor Thomas Saunders (Tauranga Intermediate) played football; top sprinter Mariah Ririnui (Tauranga Intermediate) played netball.


Commonwealth Games teammate and New Zealand's fastest man Joseph Millar (Aquinas College) played hockey; New Zealand sevens player Joe Webber (Peachgrove) played football.


New Zealand surf lifesaving star/world surf ski champion Danielle McKenzie did multisport and water polo.


New Zealand women's rugby sevens star Tyla Nathan-Wong (Blockhouse Bay) played football; Black Sticks player Nic Woods (Peachgrove) played hockey.


Black Sticks' Amy Robinson (Tauranga Intermediate) played hockey.


Olympic gymnast Dylan Schmidt (Waihi College) won trampolining gold; All White Alex Rufer starred for Palmerston North's title-winning Aims Games squad; Commonwealth Games bronze-winning triathlete Tayler Reid (Gisborne Intermediate) did multisport.


Madi Doar (Tauranga Intermediate, Kamo Intermediate) played hockey.