The South Island Masters Games has thrown down the gauntlet to Christchurch residents, asking them if they “still have what it takes”.
Invitations have been sent to more than 8500 former participants from throughout New Zealand and overseas, challenging them to get on their bike, pick up their badminton racquet or start training for the 10km road run and compete at this year’s Games in Christchurch at the end of September.
The South Island Masters Games are an annual week-long festival of sport for veteran athletes who compete in more than 20 different sporting events. The Games alternate between Christchurch and Timaru.
The emphasis is on participation, says Christchurch City Council Recreation and Sports Manager John Filsell.
“While the Games attract national and international athletes who are competing to achieve personal bests and to break New Zealand and World records, they are also important in simply getting people to compete.
“Too often older people think they are that - too old to compete. There are a number of social grades and the only entry criteria is that you are old enough.”
Participants must be aged 30 or 35 and older. People with disabilities are encouraged to take part in the event.
He says the South Island Masters Games are as much about the sport as the life-long friendships that are formed from being part of the event.
“These Games are renowned for the social programme – five days of sports and five nights of fun – having earned the tag of Play Hard and Party Harder.”
The Games are well supported and contribute multi-million dollar economic benefits to the community, Mr Filsell says.
The Christchurch City Council is a supporter of sporting events that benefit all ages. It funds numerous community-based events targeted at older people.
Day-time activities include:
Cricket - 8-A-Side
Road Relay 3x7km Run-Walk
Road Run 10km
Road Run-Walk Half Marathon
Shooting - Clay Target
Triathlon 30 Minute Indoor
Walk - Push Play