Museums in Rangitikei are highlighting the district's top sporting stars in this year's Heritage Weekend.

The towns of Bulls, Marton, Hunterville, Mangaweka and Taihape are taking part to showcase their sporting clubs and players of the past.

Richard Aslett, who chairs the Rangitikei Heritage Group, says the two-day event has been gaining traction over the recent years.

"It seems to be growing in popularity, we did have a little blip about three years ago when the weather was absolutely terrible on the Saturday but we made up for it on the Sunday."


The event was started 11 years ago by the Rangitikei Heritage Group, which includes representatives from the district's five museums, alongside associated members from Turakina, the Waiouru National Army Museum, and the Whanganui Regional Heritage Trust.

Every year the group decides on a different topic the event will showcase.

"Last year we just did characters of the past, which was really popular but it was a bit broad.

"I think it's a people thing, in the past we've done planes of the Rangitikei, we've done the river and they've been popular but as soon as you involve people it's even more popular," Aslett said.

Richard Aslett (lower centre) and the Rangitikei Heritage Group. Photo / Supplied
Richard Aslett (lower centre) and the Rangitikei Heritage Group. Photo / Supplied

"It makes it more personal, so we've decided to stick with the people angle but define it more into a group which is sports clubs and sporting personalities."

Some of the sports stars include racing icon Chris Amon who was active in Formula One in the 1960s and 1970s, while another athlete featured is Moke Belliss, who played for the All Blacks in the early 1920's.

Aslett says there's a special reason the event is held every May.

"The date is the weekend that falls the closest to the actual date when the Deed of Purchase was signed, and the first of the Rangitikei blocks were made available for purchase, back on the 18th of May, 1849."


Anyone who visits two or more museums goes in the draw to win an A2 sized printed canvas of athletes featured in the displays.

The museums are open from 10am to 3pm Saturday and Sunday.

Entry is $2 for adults and children's entry is free.