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Eight thousand to hit Wanganui for Masters Games

January 28, 2003

Media Release

Sporting legends and old friends to gather at ACC ThinkSafe Masters Games

Sporting legends, old friends and people who are about to become friends will descend on Wanganui on Saturday, February 1, to compete in the country’s largest sporting event, the ACC ThinkSafe New Zealand Masters Games.

More than 8000 people will take part in the week-long games (February 1—9) that include traditional sports and some with a novelty twist, like Stair Racing Wanganui’s Durie Hill.

Motorcycle and car racing icon Aaron Slight is just one of the big names. He will compete in moto-cross -- the sport that started it all for him when he was 12 years old -- on the first Saturday and Sunday of the Games.

But the Games are as much about friendship and camaraderie as competition, says Wanganui-born Games golf patron Simon Owen.

Mr Owen, who finished two strokes behind Jack Nicklaus at the 1978 British Open, will be heading back to the Northern Hemisphere in a couple of months to compete in the European Seniors Tour.

While Mr Owen will not compete, his wife Cathy is entering the tennis and petanque.

“For 99 percent of competitors, it’s a good fun get-together with people their own age. It’s not over-competitive, there’s great camaraderie and it’s good fun,” Mr Owen says.

The Games, which are open to age groups generally starting at 30-plus, will host a large number of overseas contestants, including a cricket team from India.

“Everyone’s coming,” says long-time cycling luminary Ron Cheatley.

Games manager David Penn says the social aspect of the games will be every bit as important as the sports.

“The social marquee will be very much a meeting place with two bands playing every night and an extensive social calendar.”

ACC’s chief executive, Garry Wilson, says the ACC ThinkSafe NZ Masters Games are an opportunity to reinforce the messages in its ACC SportSmart 10-point action plan for sports injury prevention.

“New Zealanders are taking the ACC SportSmart messages on board with serious injuries down nearly 20 percent in the last five years,” Mr Wilson says.

“But we can’t rest on our laurels. Sports and recreation injuries still cost around $90 million a year.”

Mr Wilson says the Games are ACC’s biggest sports sponsorship.

“The Games are well worth it because, as the largest multi-sport event in New Zealand, they provide a unique opportunity to spread the ACC SportSmart message among the 8000 competitors, their coaches and supporters in 70 sports.”

ACC has already provided ACC SportSmart training to Games officials that includes first aid and benchmarks for injury management during the Games.

An on-site sports injury clinic sponsored by ACC and run by Good Health Wanganui will provide injury care and treatment and ACC is sponsoring water stations in the longer walks and runs.

ACC will use injury information gathered during the Games to seek ways of preventing similar injuries in future.


28 January, 2003

Media Advisory

Eight thousand to hit Wanganui for ACC ThinkSafe NZ Masters Games

New Zealand’s largest multi-sport event, the annual ACC ThinkSafe NZ Masters Games are to be held in Wanganui between 1—9 February.

The Games, which embrace 60 sports ranging from cricket and tennis to surfcasting and shearing, are expected to attract 8000 competitors.

The Games will be officially opened by ACC chief executive Garry Wilson and Wanganui Mayor Chas Poynter at a Welcoming Ceremony at the Games Village at Springvale Park at 6.30pm, Saturday, 1 February.

Mr Wilson will be available for interviews on ACC’s SportSmart injury prevention initiatives at the Opening Ceremony and at the Water Station at the 10km Run Start/Finish Line at the Union Boat Club on Taupo Quay between 8.30am-10am on Sunday morning.

Opening ceremony proceedings begin at 5pm with a concert by The Warratahs at Springvale Park.

Media facilities are available behind the main marquee at the Games Village.

Further information can be found at


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