Junior athletics hosting Colgate Games

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New Zealand’s largest junior athletics championships are being held in Timaru and Auckland in early January.
The 40th Colgate Games will run at Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium from January 5-7, and at Aorangi Park in Timaru from January 12 to 14.
Teams from Perth and Queensland will compete alongside 1000 aspiring athletes from 64 New Zealand clubs.
A record 3000 young athletes, aged from 7 to 14, are expected to take part in the three-day event, with 950 of those expected to compete in Timaru.
Organising committee member Helen Mackle said nearly 200 athletes from clubs in Mid and South Canterbury were registered to compete in the games, in some cases were following in their parents’ footsteps.
“It’s a big event. Some kids only register for the Colgate Games, and the atmosphere is really fantastic .. a fun three days of enjoyment.”
Mrs Mackle said the games provided a boost to Timaru, with parents, grandparents and siblings accompanying the athletes to town.
One of the founders of the event, Graham Vivian, will attend the Timaru games to officially open the games and be part of the medal presentations over the weekend.
Established in 1978, the Colgate Games is one of the longest continuous sports sponsorships in New Zealand.
This year, Colgate and the New Zealand Children’s Athletics Association have provided eight scholarships – four each in the North and South Islands – worth $700 each for athletes who give an outstanding performance.