They're not chasing medals- instead, a group of 40 intermediate-aged Tauranga students have far loftier goals for next week's Anchor AIMS Games.
The Green Team will once again be out in force, ensuring the environmental impact of having 10,800 athletes in town is kept to a minimum.
Organised by recycling advocates Waste Watchers and supported by Tauranga City Council, the team hopes to divert at least 65 per cent of all AIMS Games waste away from landfills.
"I'm not a sporty person but it's going to be a lot of fun to have a job at the AIMS Games organising the recycling and being able to look around and be a part of the tournament," said Otumoetai Intermediate student Jacob Gillette, 12.
"It's kind of honourable because we're also helping our country clean up."
Jacob's fellow Year 7 colleague, Papamoa College's Arte Robertson, was also looking forward to a big week.
"I tried out for our netball team and I didn't get in so this means I can still be part of the tournament," she said. "We always recycle at home and it will be great to help teach others what to do next week."
The pair took part in a training session at Bay Oval last week, run by Waste Watch director and Green Team leader Marty Hoffart.
The local intermediate schools, Tauranga, Otumoetai, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa College, all contributed 10 students each and Hoffart said they have a key role.
"During training, we showed the Green Team how to set up their recycling stations and how to engage with the public and we've got a great group of passionate advocates this year," he said.
With the record number of competitors, the Green Team also increased its resourcing to "keep on top of things", Hoffart added.
"It's hugely important that all these visitors to our city can see the pride and care we show as hosts, whether it be providing accommodation, getting out and supporting them or giving them options to dispose of their waste."
Team managers and supporters could also do their bit, he added, by thinking through what they're wrapping lunches and snacks in.
Reusable containers and drink bottles were the best option, as was choosing food vendors that offered compostable products.
AIMS Games tournament director Vicki Semple said she was fiercely proud of the work the Green Team achieved in previous tournaments and has high hopes for the future.
"We'd love to make this the world's first Zero Waste games and the role Marty and his team plays is invaluable to that," she said.
"This next generation is passionate about looking after the environment and it's up to the rest of us to give them the tools and support to help them do it."
Tauranga City Council's support comes through the Resource Wise Events Programme, providing event waste equipment like bin covers, litter pickers and recycling flags to the Green Team.
Suppliers have again come on board with the waste-reduction efforts, with major sponsor Fonterra supplying recycling crates and Coffee Chic serving all their barista brews in special compostable cups.
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