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The Minister of Health Opens 29th New Zealand Masters Games

The Minister of Health Opens 29th New Zealand Masters Games

The Minister of Health, the Hon David Clark opened the Otago Community Trust New Zealand Masters Games last night in Dunedin. The opening ceremony, held at the Games Village on the University of Otago campus, had touches of olympic pageantry. Competitors took part in a march past behind their sport code banners and there was a ceremonial lighting of the Games torch which symbolises the spirit of athletic competition and universal friendship that’s at the core of the NZ Masters Games.

In declaring the Games open the Dunedin North electorate MP, Hon David Clark ,told competitors to go hard, and to enjoy testing themselves and striving for their personal bests but also made a ministerial plea to them.

“As Minister of Health can I urge you all to look after yourselves and listen to the advice of any health professionals you have consulted. While I have absolute faith that our public health system will give you quality care for any health injuries, the less strain we can put on our hardworking Doctors and nurses, the better for all of us.”

Games Ambassador, rugby union legend Sir Bryan Williams, is looking forward to his official duties in Dunedin.

“I had the great enjoyment and honour of being an ambassador for World Masters Games 2017. There were so many special moments across so many different sports. The competition, the camaraderie, the sportsmanship, the fun and enjoyment made it a unique experience. So when I was asked to be an ambassador for the NZMG 2018, I jumped at the opportunity.”

Former Silver Fern, and Games Ambassador Jodi Brown, says the Games have always been very special for her.

“I was born and bred in Wanganui (the alternate venue for the Games). My brother and I were often dragged around the various sports as Mum and Dad competed and socialised. It was a highlight for them every second year. Right from being a nipper I have experienced the true spirit of the Games and the pure enjoyment that it brings everyone involved.”

Chair of the NZMG Association, John Bezett, said the country’s largest sporting event injects 5 million dollars into the city’s economy as more than 4500 competitors compete in 60 different sport events over nine days.

“The Masters Games promotes a healthy active lifestyle by promoting health and fitness in older people. While The majority of competitors are aged between 30-50 years but we do have more than 400 people aged 70 plus and 12 are over 80yrs“.

The ceremony was held at the end of the first day of competition. The Games torch will burn in Dunedin for the next eight days.

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