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Waikato secures role in World Masters Games 2017

5 Dec 2014, 10:44 AM


A joint bid by three Waikato councils has secured the region a major role in the prestigious World Masters Games in 2017.

Hamilton City Council, Waipa District Council and Waikato Regional Council have joined forces to successfully lure rowing and track cycling away from Auckland, into the Waikato.  Track cycling will be based at the Avantidrome and the rowing at Lake Karapiro. 

Of 44 venues to be used during the event, Lake Karapiro and the Avantidrome are the only ones not in Auckland.

The World Masters Games 2017 today released details on the 28 sports within its official programme.

World Masters Games 2017 chief executive Jennah Wootten said 25,000 athletes and 10,000 supporters from around the world were likely to be involved in the April 2017 event.  The international multi-sport event for masters athletes is held every four years.

The selection of competition venues was paramount to delivering a world-class sporting event, Ms Wootten said.   Athlete experience had been put in the centre of the selection process.

“Roughly half our competitors will be international visitors, and quarter will come from outside of Auckland. Many visitors will choose to stay near their sporting location.”

Both the Avantidrome and Lake Karapiro are recognised world class venues.  Lake Karapiro hosted the world rowing championships in 2010 and the Avantidrome is certified to host world championship races.

Waipa Mayor Jim Myclchreest said it was a “no-brainer” that both track cycling and rowing would be based in his district.

“We have New Zealand’s best rowing and track cycling facilities here,  there’s no question about that.  I’ve got absolutely no doubt that bringing the athletes down here is the right thing to do and it’s fantastic for our district.”

Waikato councils contributed a total of $130,000 help secure the event for the Waikato - $40,000 each from Hamilton City and the Waikato Regional councils and $50,000 from Waipa District Council.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said it was a great opportunity for the Waikato to further cement its position as the home to high performance sport and obtain the economic benefits sport brings to Hamilton and the Waikato. 

“It also demonstrates how councils can quite easily partner up together.  We can all benefit through a collaborative approach to new opportunities as they arise.”

Waikato Regional Council chairperson Paula Southgate said the council had a role in supporting the future strength of the Waikato economy.

“These sort of events are a great way of showcasing the Waikato and its facilities to people from both near and far.  Events that attract people into our region are a vital to making our region a great place to live, work and play.”