Bezett steps down from long role

Outgoing Masters Games chairman John Bezett takes a break at his jewellery shop this week. PHOTO:...
Outgoing Masters Games chairman John Bezett takes a break at his jewellery shop this week. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
After 28 years John Bezett can certainly look back on a job well done.

The jeweller and former city councillor has stepped down from his role as chairman of the Masters Games.

It is a stint nearly as long as the Games themselves.

Bezett took over from incoming chairman John Brimble, who chaired the games’ board in its first year in 1992.

He had enjoyed his time in the role and remained passionate about the games.

However, after 28 years he had reached a point of simply not wanting to be chairman any more.

It is a point most people would reach much earlier.

But the "Masters movement’’ was something he loved and he continued to remain active and compete in the games.

It was that passion which kept him going.

"Providing an opportunity for older sports people to continue to train for an event and compete in an event,’’ Bezett said.

"There are other veteran sports events around of course, but nothing as comprehensive as the Masters Games.

"We were offering 60-70 sports for people to compete in.

"So I thought the Masters movement, as I call it, is a wonderful concept.

"That’s kept my interest all these years.

"But there comes a time — I wouldn’t say I’ve run out of ideas — but it was time for someone else to come along and put their own mark on it.’’

Bezett remains active on a daily basis.

He bikes to work, swims regularly and likes to run.

At the games he competed in the triathlon, swimming and swam in a team in the half ironman.

He had many highlights from his involvement, although he said it was great to have met and worked with so many great people on the organising committee.

Over the past three decades the games have become a huge event, held in Dunedin and Whanganui in alternate years.

Bezett said the games catered for everyone from serious competitors to those just starting out at something new.

Almost 5000 people from around the country attended the most recent games the city hosted, last year.

That had helped it become Dunedin’s largest event, which had flow-on effects for the city.

"The original concept, really, was to hold these games and attract people from outside the city to come to Dunedin.

"We were hoping to use the games as a way to attract people to come to Dunedin and look at the other attractions the city has.

"The concept of that has been very successful.

"We’ve done an analysis over the years of each games.

"On average it’s been $3million to $5million economic benefit to the city for each games.

"If you go back over 30 years, that’s a lot of money.’’

Bezett felt the games were in good hands.

He was confident Brimble would do a good job and he said the board was a strong one.

Dunedin’s next Masters Games are scheduled for next year.

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