“We have focused on delivering on our promise to create a magical experience in The Games Village”, explains Whanganui Events Trust Chief Executive Kathy Cunningham. Traditionally held in a large marquee in Springvale, the Games Village is now in Whanganui’s CBD at the War Memorial Centre. The new venue will bring an energy and exciting vibe to the CBD and will give participants and supporters a whole new experience with ethnic and gourmet food trucks, an acoustic stage, a wine bar and comfortable outdoor seating which will be the perfect place to meet pre and post sports sessions. The forecourt is open to the greater Whanganui community and welcomes all visitors to the region to enjoy the forecourt festivities.
All those supporting or participating in the New Zealand Masters Games will be invited to enjoy the world class nightly entertainment on offer over ten nights. This includes the Opening Night band, “The Magnificent Seven” fronted by music legends Eddie Rayner from Split Enz, Jordan Luck from The Exponents and Peter Urlich from Th’ Dudes performing only New Zealand anthems that everyone knows and loves. The Waratahs, covers bands Union and CVE make up the weekends headline acts, while mid-week fashion shows, quiz nights and even a film festival will entice participants to enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones!
The Opening Ceremony is also a feature on the Games calendar since it will be held from 6:00pm on Friday 3 February at Cooks Gardens. Each of the 50 sports will have the chance to parade partly around the field that Peter Snell made famous. Kapa Haka, entertainment and the official opening remarks will mark the occasion. Then a procession will occur with all volunteers and participants marching from Cooks Gardens to the Games Village.
Did you know that the only qualifier to enter the New Zealand Masters Games is age? And, that the age for swimming and gymsports is 20? And, for waka ama, your waka must have a median age of 40! With several new sports on offer that includes equestrian distance riding and the long awaited return of outdoor rowing on the beautiful Whanganui River, these Games really has something for everyone. From Bocce to Blokart racing and from Basketball and Netball to Lawn Bowls, you can learn about each sport and so much more when you visit www.nzmg.com
“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination and a hard-to-find alloy called guts,” Dan Gable aptly said. So, whether you are after a medal, or just want to have a run around the Whanganui Bridges, or try your hand at Petanque, this Games is not to be missed. With ten days of 50 Sports and 5,000 participants enjoying the new Games Village, the New Zealand Masters Games brings around 2.5 million dollars in economic benefit to Whanganui. New Zealand Masters games is Whanganui’s most loved event.