In 120 days time Timaru will be full to brim with an expected 3,500 participants at the South Island Masters Games. This will be the tenth Games and the sixth time the Masters have been hosted in Timaru.
“With such a large number of visitors and supporters expected, the October Games are the perfect antidote to winter doldrums and will be worth an estimated $2 million to the local economy”, said Games Manager Chris Thomas.
“The benefits are not just economic though, we know from our research that the Games also play a huge part in people feeling positive and proud of their region and of course the health benefits of participating in sport are well documented’ said Mr Thomas.
“Planning is well under way for the ten day festival of sport and based on early registration levels it looks like it will be a record breaker,” says Mr Thomas.
This year 56 sports, with over 300 competitions and tournaments, will be staged over the week of the Games. The organising clubs and associations are well into their preparations.
New sports for the 2010 Games include Archery, Dance Sport, Social Golf Croquet, Wii Sport, Inline Skating, Downhill Mountain Biking, Centre Fire Shooting, Mini Golf and the Longest Golf Drive.
“This year, we also want the wider South Canterbury community to get involved in the fun. We are planning a Piazza Stair Climb fun run, a ‘have a go’ at inline skating night and the return of the Tui Truck Tug. These 3 events are open to all ages, and anyone can enter; they do not have to be registered for the Games”, said Mr Thomas.
Registration for the 2010 Games has opened with Online Registration a first for Timaru. The system was trialled for the Games last year and proved a huge success with half of all entries coming over the internet.
“Based on competitor feedback from 2009, we’ve made some changes to the on-line system to make it easier to enter” said Mr. Thomas “ and this is proving a real hit especially with teams.
The first South Island Masters Games were held in Timaru in 2000 and every second year since. Games have also been held in Christchurch in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009. The 2011 Games will be held in Nelson.