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Hamilton the host city for NZ Deaf Games 2016

Media release

Hamilton the host city for NZ Deaf Games 2016

12 October 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



More than 140 deaf athletes will converge on Hamilton on Labour Weekend for the NZ Deaf Games 2016.

Supported by Hamilton City Council, the three-day event encompasses 10 different sports – badminton, squash, indoor football, lawn bowls, darts, basketball, netball, indoor netball, touch rugby, 8-ball pool, plus the demonstration sport waka ama.

A number of Council-owned facilities will be venues for competition, including Minogue Park and Willoughby Park, and culminates with a formal awards event at FMG Stadium Waikato on the Sunday evening.

It is the third time Hamilton has been the host city for NZ Deaf Games, having hosted the 1973 and 1980 editions.

Judy Small, the Council's Disability Advisor, has been involved in planning for the event and welcomes its arrival in Hamilton.

"This is the 50th NZ Deaf Games and we're pleased to be the host city," Ms Small says. "For the athletes, it's a terrific chance to claim medals in their sport, or achieve personal bests."

Ms Small says deafness isn't a barrier to sporting success and the NZ Deaf Games present deaf athletes with a potential springboard to international sporting events, including the IOC-sanctioned Deaflympics.

"The recent Rio 2016 Paralympics demonstrated New Zealand continues to produce world-class disabled athletes capable of impressive medal-winning performances," she says. "The NZ Deaf Games offer a pathway to similar opportunity."

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Ms Small says the NZ Deaf Games are also an opportunity to showcase Hamilton.

"Like all community sporting events, these athletes will be supported by family, partners and friends, and hopefully they'll take the time to visit some of the city's great attractions like Hamilton Gardens, Waikato Museum and Hamilton Zoo."

The NZ Deaf Games 2016 opens on Friday, 21 October and runs through until Sunday, 23 October. The events are free to attend. For a full list of events and venues, visit deafsports.nz/deafgames


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