Competitors aiming for PBs at Colgate Games

Dunedin athletes practise at the Caledonian Ground before the South Island Colgate Games in...
Dunedin athletes practise at the Caledonian Ground before the South Island Colgate Games in Nelson this weekend. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON
Junior athletes are hoping to run, jump and throw their way to personal bests this weekend.

About 40 Dunedin athletes will compete at the South Island Colgate Games in Nelson from tomorrow.

Among them is Athletics Taieri athlete Georgia McHutchon (14), who will compete in the games for the final time.

She has been to about seven previous games, and enjoys competing against different girls from clubs around the South Island.

She will compete in the 200m, 400m, 1500m and relays.

Georgia hopes to achieve a personal best, particularly in the 1500m.

First-time competitor Lola Saunders (11), of Ariki Athletics, has signed up for the 400m, 800m, 1500m, long jump and shot put.

Her aim is to also achieve a personal best in any discipline.

Alex Walker (11), of Hill City-University Athletics, has been four times before.

He will line up in the 400m, 200m and 100m running events, shot put and discus.

His goal is to win his races and break records.

The games are the largest athletics competition for athletes aged 7-14.

North and South Island Games are held in different cities each year.

Colgate Games South Island chairman Dave Hansen said the event was a chance for the athletics community to come together in the spirit of friendship.

"Our young athletes are super excited to be competing alongside their friends.

"Given the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns, we are delighted we can host this outstanding event now."

Colgate NZ general manager John Garside said the games were about celebrating community sport and encouraging up and coming athletes to do their best and to give new sports a go.

"The Colgate Games are a chance for young athletes to try new sports, make new friends and compete at a national level.

"Win or lose, it doesn’t matter.

Eight $500 scholarships are given to athletes who display outstanding performances at the North and South Island games.

They are named after games alumnus and two-time Olympic medallist Nick Willis.

The funds will go towards helping the winning athletes achieve their sporting goals.

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