Steve Hollander, founder and trustee of New Zealand Rural
Games. Photo supplied
The inaugural New Zealand Rural Games, which will be held
in Queenstown in February next year, are expected to attract
top competitors from throughout New Zealand and Australia,
including national and world champions.
The two-day celebration of all things country takes place on
Queenstown's Recreation Ground over Waitangi weekend.
Organisers are working with Sport New Zealand and rural
sports associations around the country to develop exciting
new formats for competitive wood chopping, sheep shearing,
sheepdog trials, Young Farmers, speed fencing, coal
shovelling, speed gold panning and other less well-known
The event will also feature Highland Games and a full
festival programme, including live music and entertainment,
fun audience participation events such as cowpat throwing and
cherry stone spitting, children's activities and specialty
food and market stalls.
New Zealand Rural Games founder and trustee Steve Hollander
said the event had been a dream of his for a long time.
''New Zealand was built on farming and the economy still
relies on primary industries and the people who work in
them,'' Mr Hollander said.
''The Games are a wonderful opportunity to celebrate this
essential part of our national character.
''We want to help continue the legacy of traditional sports
for future generations, bringing them to the attention of the
wider population and ensuring the country's rural spirit is
celebrated for many years to come.''