Countdown begins to NZ Masters Games

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Getting ready . . . New Zealand Masters Games manager Vicki Kestila at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin, one of the venues for the games. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

by Jessica Wilson

Getting ready . New Zealand Masters Games manager Vicki Kestila at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin, one of the venues for the games. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

We have got something for everybody, whether you are a competitive athlete or you just want to give something a try.The countdown to the country’s largest multisports event is on.

The Otago Community Trust New Zealand Masters Games will be held in Dunedin from February 3-11, at which 63 sports will be on offer.

“We have got something for everybody, whether you are a competitive athlete or you just want to give something a try.” – Games marketing and events co-ordinator Maria Apii

The games are about “great sport, great mates, great memories” and the aim is to encourage people to participate in sport where camaraderie and competition are equally celebrated.

Games marketing and events co-ordinator Maria Apii said there would be a wide range of sports to choose from, including netball, archery, ice skating, bowls, darts, croquet, table tennis and many more.

“We have got something for everybody, whether you are a competitive athlete or you just want to give something a try.”

The games gave people an opportunity to try a sport for the first time in a fun, social setting, and the chance to compete in their main sport, she said.

For most sports there is no qualification criteria other than age, which means almost anyone can compete. The minimum age for most sports is 30, while ice figure-skating is open for people as young as 18.

“You don’t need to wait until you’re 60 to enter the masters,” Apii said.

There will also be nine nights of entertainment for participants at the Games Village, at the University of Otago.

“When they are here in Dunedin not only have they got the sports and the competitive side, but they’ve got a really good social side.”

This will include a performance by Shane Cortese and the 8 Track Band – Cortese will also hit the football field during the games – a comedy night, a barbecue quiz night and a casino night that will raise money for the Cancer Society.

The Master Games were often just as much about socialising with friends as they were about playing sport, Apii said.

“A lot of people catch up with old friends or .. people they have met while they are competing, so the games village at the university is a real hub.”

There was accommodation available in the halls of residence at the university, otherwise the i-Site Visitor Centre had a great range of options, she said.

There were also motels and hotels around the city that would be suitable.

Early bird entries are open until November 30.