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Senior Moments Take On Positive Meaning Masters Games



Friday 31 January

Senior Moments Take On Positive Meaning At the New Zealand Masters Games.

When Tommy Thomas has his next senior moment he hopes it will be winning a gold medal at the Southern Trust New Zealand Masters Games which begin tomorrow in Dunedin, marking the 25st anniversary of the Games. At 92yrs Tommy Thomas from Dunedin is the oldest competitor at the Games and this energetic nonagenarian will be giving his all at the table tennis table.  

New Zealand’s largest sporting event has up to 5500 competitors registered, and while the majority of competitors are aged between 40- 60 yrs, there are 415 competitors over the age of 70.

At 91years old Pauline Purser and Marion Finkle share the honour of being the eldest female competitors at the event. Pauline, from Tauranga, will be testing every muscle in her body as she steps up for the Shot Put/ Hammer Throw/ Discus/ Javelin and Heavy Weight, while Marion Finkle from Dunedin will be applying her sharp mind at the Euchre table.

The 2014 Games have attracted an Indoor Basketball team from Guam and ice figure skaters  from Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the USA. Other countries represented at the Games include Australia, Canada, UK, India, and New Caledonia.  

Netball heads the list of the most popular team sports with 72 teams entered. Soccer has an impressive 54 teams competing. There are 70 sports and activities scheduled including more sedentary options such as poker, euchre and wine options.

Officiating at the Games medal presentations this year as Games ambassadors are Lisa and Nina Daniels, New Zealand’s most successful synchronised swimming duet in international competition, and Otago Rugby identity Tony Gilbert.

Vicki Kestila, Games Manager, says the NZ Masters Games injects upwards of 4.5 million dollars into the local economy.  She says, “This is not just Dunedin’s but the country’s biggest sporting event. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the city’s attractions and facilities. “

The official Opening Ceremony is on Saturday night at the Games Village on the University of Otago campus. A feature of the Opening will be the presentation of a NZ Masters Games Life Award. The Award recognises individuals who have contributed significantly to the success of the Games.

February 1-9


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