Experienced sportswoman and administrator Rachel O'Connor will manage the 2021 New Zealand Masters Games in Whanganui, with Sport Whanganui confirmed as the lead agent for 2021 and future years.
The Whanganui Masters Games Committee has announced it is now in partnership with Sport Whanganui "to deliver a quality games in 2021 and beyond" after developing the partnership over the past two Masters Games.
Sport Whanganui, in partnership with the New Zealand Masters Games Trust, has appointed O'Connor as games manager. O'Connor is a former Sport Whanganui employee and most recently has been Whanganui District Council's events and venues manager.
"I am excited to be leading the Whanganui NZ Masters Games team and look forward to growing this event for Whanganui," O'Connor said.
"I've been involved in the games for a number of years in various aspects, and look forward to working with the sporting codes, volunteers, local businesses, participants and the wider community to create a successful, memorable event."
O'Connor attended this month's New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin to gain experience for planning the 2021 games. The games alternate between Whanganui and Dunedin.
"We are extremely excited about the 2021 games and the economic boost it will bring to Whanganui and local sporting clubs," Sport Whanganui chief executive Danny Jonas said.
"We are thrilled to have Rachel on board as the event organiser; her experience and connection to our community will be a huge benefit to delivering a successful event."
The 2019 games in Whanganui had 60 events with 4242 participants, down 3.2 per cent or 137 athletes on the previous event, and ran at a financial loss. Only 1295 people from Whanganui took part - a decrease of 22 per cent. The total economic impact from the 2019 event was around $2.8 million, with about $135,000 paid to the participating sports codes.
The Whanganui Masters Games Committee is aiming for an increase in participation in 2021.