Organisers delight in news of best numbers, records and camaraderie

The Masters Games top team competitors all set to have some fun at the event at the Octagon last...
The Masters Games top team competitors all set to have some fun at the event at the Octagon last Thursday. Photo: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
The New Zealand Masters Games have been declared a resounding success as they wrap up for another year in Dunedin.

Competitor numbers were up, national records were set in the pool, on the ergometer and with weights and competitors came from far and wide to line up.

The games are now in their 31st year, held alternately in Dunedin and Whanganui.

This year there was an increase in competitor numbers from the last games held in Dunedin (up 6%). About 5000 competitors took part in more than 60 sports.

There was a record number of football competitors; more than 900 took part in the round-ball game in various grades.

There were several new events which proved popular.

The cornhole game, which is gaining in popularity worldwide, had more than 100 competitors trying it out, a gutbuster stair challenge up Jacobs Ladder in St Clair yesterday which was very tough and a Top Team — a team challenge competition based on the popular 1980s series Top Town.

The half marathon also made a return, and attracted more than 100 runners.

"Despite challenges with the weather, we’ve had an incredible nine days that the city can be immensely proud of," games manager Vicki Kestila said.

"Our sports partners, volunteers, games ambassadors Jodi Brown and Warren Lees and core management team have all worked tirelessly to deliver a fabulous week of sports, entertainment and fun for competitors aged 18 through to 90-plus.

"The new games hub in the Octagon has brought competitors and spectators into the heart of the city and helped raise the profile of the games for locals.

‘‘It’s been an amazing vibe with 5000-plus competitors and supporters around town, alongside concert goers and rugby fans. What a great week for the city."

There were New Zealand records broken in powerlifting, swimming and indoor rowing alongside countless stories of friendships, fun

and camaraderie.

‘‘We’re thrilled to see national records broken, which shows we’re attracting competitors who are really excelling — whatever their age — in their chosen sport.

"But for most, the games offer an opportunity to compete, have fun, perhaps beat a personal best or catch up with friends.

‘‘That’s why the event is the country’s most popular multisport event — there’s something for everyone."

The games will shift to Whanganui next year and are then scheduled to be back in Dunedin.

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