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World Masters Games prepares to welcome 28,000 competitors to Auckland
More than 28,000 athletes and supporters will flood to Auckland next week in advance of the opening of the 2017 World Masters Games.
From 21st to 30th April, athletes will compete across 28 sports in 45 disciplines at 46 venues throughout the Auckland region, as well as two venues in the Waikato.
Aiming to host the best World Masters Games event ever, athletes from more than 50 countries have already signed up to participate in the World Masters Games 2017 from as far afield as Malawi, Spain, Iceland, Brazil, Switzerland and Indonesia.
In some sports, competition numbers were filled last year, with Games organisers working with sports partners and venues to increase capacity.
Football’s original 108 team capacity was increased to 140 teams, hockey increased from 83 to 100 teams while archery has had its original capacity increased from 230 to just over 330 athletes.
WMG2017 Chief Executive Jennah Wootten explained “we are keen to accommodate as many athletes as possible but there is a limit to the number of participants that can compete in many sports, particularly team sports, due to venue capacities.”
Wootten says since registrations opened in February last year, they have been on a ‘first come, first served’ basis with prospective athletes encouraged to get their registrations in early to secure their places.
She added “we’re thrilled but not surprised by the response from around the globe, which says plenty about the value athletes place on the World Masters Games.
“It’s one of the few global mega events for amateurs and elite athletes alike, it’s all about participation and it only takes place every four years.
“We know people are typically attracted to World Masters Games for the competition, the social aspects and the destination, and the response so far suggests Auckland and New Zealand are seen as ticking all those boxes.”
Among venues, Pakuranga Rugby Club will host all rugby events beginning on 22nd April and running every day through the week except ANZAC Day and 28th April.
Baseball will also be held at Lloyd Elsmore Park with matches taking place every day from 21st to 30th April.
Canoe Slalom events will take place at Vector Wero Whitewater Park in Manukau on 26th and 27th April.
WMG2017 seeks to deliver $30.8 million GDP and 244,000 visitor nights to Auckland’s economy and $53 million GDP and 266,000 visitor nights to the wider New Zealand economy.
The Government ($11 million) and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development on behalf of Auckland Council ($11.75 million) have invested approximately two thirds of the $35.85 million required to stage the event with the remainder to come from registration fees ($8.5 million) and commercial sponsorship ($4.6 million).
The World Masters Games is the world’s largest multi-sport event by participation numbers.
Endorsed by the International Olympic Committee, its purpose is to encourage people to retain their passion for sport through life as a pathway to health and wellbeing, friendship and understanding.
The games begin on Friday 21st April with an opening ceremony at Eden Park and wrap with a closing ceremony at the city’s Queen’s Wharf on 30th April.
7th April 2017 - $29 MILLION INDOOR SPORTS FACILITY OPENS AT BRUCE PULMAN PARK
26th April 2016 - COUNTDOWN ON FOR WORLD MASTERS GAMES 2017 IN AUCKLAND
8th February 2016 - WORLD MASTERS GAMES 2017 APPOINTS OFFICIAL APPAREL AND MERCHANDISE PARTNER
2nd April 2015 - WORLD MASTERS GAMES 2017 SUPPORTS UN SPORTS INITIATIVE
5th December 2014 - WORLD MASTERS GAMES 2017 VENUES TO SHOWCASE ALL OF AUCKLAND
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