NZ Victorious Over Australia In Inaugural ANZA Challenge
20 OCTOBER 2013
New Zealand Victorious Over Australia In Inaugural ANZA Challenge
Joseph Sullivan, Jessica Sherborne, Nathan Cohen at the ANZA Challenge public run
New Zealand has claimed another trans-Tasman sporting victory in Auckland today by defeating Australia in the first ever ANZA Challenge. Nearly 1,000 Kiwis joined the Harcourts New Zealand Team of celebrity sports stars for a public run in the Auckland Domain – the final challenge of the gruelling 1,300km, six day race for charity.
The ANZA Challenge is a trans-Tasman race where teams of sports stars and celebrities race for national pride and to raise vital funds for charities on both sides of the ditch, including the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation.
The race began at the steps of Parliament on Tuesday, October 15, by Prime Minister John Key. The teams then ran, rowed, cycled and sailed their way around New Zealand from the capital to Nelson, down to Christchurch and Dunedin, up to Hamilton and the climactic finale - simultaneous public runs in Auckland and Sydney.
Former All Black Marc Ellis led the Harcourts New Zealand Team for the epic race which included: Black Sticks player Gemma Flynn, Paralympic Cyclist Nathan Smith, Olympic gold medal rowing team Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan, Paralympic rower Danny McBride, World Champion Cyclist Alison Shanks, World Champion sailor Blair Tuke, triathlete Cameron Brown, Paralympic sailor Rick Dodson and sports presenter James McOnie.
Representing Australia in the trans-Tasman battle was former rugby league player Laurie Daley, lifeguards and stars of ‘Bondi Rescue’ Andrew Reid and Corey Oliver, former Wallaby Wendell Sailor, Olympic cyclist Shane Kelly, Hockeyroo Kate Hollywood, Olympic sailor Malcolm Page, celebrity chef Jason Roberts, and Olympic champion rower Dan Noonan.
The teams earned points for each stage and at the end of the celebrity race the Harcourts New Zealand Team was in the lead 4-1. All the participants in the public races in Auckland and Sydney were time chipped and their results combined with the teams to give New Zealand the honours of the first ever winner of the ANZA Challenge.
“New Zealand’s sporting dominance over Australia is again proven by this epic battle of a race. It’s been a pretty painful week, I’ve seen grown men reduced to tears which is never pretty. But ultimately it’s worth it to support the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation and the work they do to get physically disabled Kiwis in to sport,” says Harcourts Team New Zealand Captain Marc Ellis.
Following the runs Hayden Duncan, Chief Executive Officer of Harcourts New Zealand presented a cheque for $65,000 to Sir Murray Halberg, founder of the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation. The real estate group raised the funds at events throughout the country during the ANZA Challenge month of October.
All entry fees from the Auckland charity runs went to the Halberg Disability Sports Foundation – an organisation which assists in enabling physically disabled New Zealanders to participate in sport and recreation.