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Masters Games Launch Rolls in the ‘New’

2014 Southern Trust Masters Games 1-9 February

Masters Games Launch Rolls in the ‘New’

In Dunedin at the official launch tonight of the 2014 Southern Trust New Zealand Masters Games, ‘new’ was the operative word.  The 2014 Games will have a new line-up of Games Ambassadors; rugby mentor, Tony Gilbert and synchronized swimmers, Lisa and Nina Daniels. The Southern Trust has become the new sponsor of the Games, and new Games Manager, Vicki Kestila is introducing a swag of new sports to the country’s largest multi sport event.

Games Ambassador, Tony Gilbert, who has played a leading role in the development and promotion of Rugby in Otago and New Zealand, says he’s a fan of the Masters Games and is looking forward to being involved.

'What a terrific opportunity these Masters Games provide us to continue exploring long-held interests, re-connecting with sports we enjoyed in the past and maybe trying something we have always wanted to have a go at. I know there will also be ample opportunity for everyone to sample the delights of my favourite city, Dunedin. I can't wait to be part of it.”

Dunedin sisters, Lisa and Nina Daniels have been New Zealand’s most successful synchronized swimming duet in international competition. They’ve been Oceania Champions three times, won Bronze at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and represented New Zealand at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Lisa says she and Nina thoroughly endorse the spirit of the Games.

“They are a great way of bringing people together to participate in sport. It encourages them to give all types of sport a go no matter what age or ability and provides a supportive environment for competition. From our past experiences in multi-sporting events such as this, we know long lasting friendships will be made. We are looking forward to meeting everyone and sharing many great experiences and successes.”

The 2014 programme offers 70 sporting events. Games Manager, Vicki Kestila says this includes some very competitive events which are new to the Games.

“We’ve got Top Team – based on the popular ‘Top Town’ television programme from some years ago. It’s a fantastic team event. Tough Master is a 'mud sweat and tears' obstacle challenge for those who like a bit of grubby activity and Ultimate is a team disc sport competition.

“We are also adding Rugby Tens. It’s less fast paced than Sevens, and leads to fewer injuries than 15-a-side, so has more attraction for older players. Nonetheless, it is pretty exciting to play, and to watch. I think it will be a real hit with spectators.  Dodgeball also lines up for the first time.”

The age criteria for competitors at the Games varies according to each sport but in general is usually 30yrs and over. While many participants are very competitive, level of experience is not so important, as Vicki says, “The spirit of the Games is all about taking part and having a go.”

The launch, held at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, marks the opening of registration for the Games. Games Chairman and Dunedin City Councillor John Bezett, says that more than 6000 competitors are expected to take part.

2014 Southern Trust New Zealand Masters Games
1-9 February Dunedin


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