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Uni Games 07 launched in Christchurch

Media Release 29 November 2006
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Uni Games 07 launched in Christchurch

Christchurch Mayor, Garry Moore and University of Canterbury Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Ian Town today launched the 2007 New Zealand University Games. The ‘Uni Games’ will be held from 10-13 April 2007, the first time in Christchurch since 1999.

More than 2,500 students from New Zealand’s 10 Universities are expected to compete in 28 sports at venues across Christchurch and Canterbury. Their main goal will be to help their University win the coveted Shield that has been awarded to the Overall University Games Champion since 1923. The first University Games were hosted by Canterbury in 1902.

Jim Ellis, Executive Director of University Sport New Zealand (USNZ), the Games organisers, is excited about bringing the Games to Christchurch. “The Uni Games is the second largest annual multi-sports event in New Zealand, after the Masters Games. Christchurch offers the Games so much, from its high quality sporting facilities to its excellent organisational ability with sport; next year’s Uni Games will be fantastic.”

Supported by key Games partners - Christchurch City Council, the University of Canterbury, University of Canterbury Students’ Association, Sport Canterbury and the New Zealand Community Trust - the Games are expected to inject $1.5 million into the Christchurch economy through accommodation, food and sports costs.

Professor Ian Town, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Canterbury says the University is extremely pleased to be involved in the hosting of the 2007 Games. “Here at Canterbury we value the health and social benefits of sporting activities. We are looking forward to an excellent few days of competition and we trust our visitors will enjoy their taste of life at UC.”

Garry Moore, Mayor of Christchurch is equally enthusiastic. "I'm delighted the University Games are being hosted by Christchurch in 2007. It's a fantastic event and the streets of the city will be enlivened by the presence of over 2,500 students representing the ten member universities."

An excited UCSA President, Warren Poh commented "The UCSA is proud to be involved with hosting the Games once again, and will do our best to ensure that competitors have the best University Games possible, all the while supporting Team Canterbury to bring the Shield back to Christchurch".

The Christchurch community will be heavily involved with over 100 volunteers required for the administration and logistics of the Games as well as each sport being supported by the regional sporting organisation through the supply of venues, competition managers, and officials.

Several Universities are serious contenders to take away the Shield so the effective planning of their teams is critical; all 10 Team Managers have been in the city this week attending a briefing to assist their planning. The form guide suggests:

- Canterbury – the home side is always difficult to beat. Having not placed at the Games away from home in recent years suggests that Canterbury cannot assume the Shield will be spending 2007 in Christchurch. Last won Shield in 1999. The heat is on.

- Otago – ran Canterbury close in 1999. The traditional powerhouse of NZ university sport with more Shield wins than any other University. Otago will send a large and competitive team to snatch the Shield from the home team.

- Victoria – the current (and proud) holders of the Shield after fielding a team of 500 in Wellington in 2006. Victoria has been talking it up and is keen to defend ‘their property’.

- AUT – the new kids on the block who are challenging Otago for the title of best New Zealand sporting university. Current holders of the Trophy for results in all inter-University competition in 2005 including the 2005 Uni Games.

- Auckland – have placed second for the last two years (on the North Shore and Wellington). A possible dark horse. Huge potential.

- Lincoln – will find it difficult to challenge for the Shield but have the real potential to upstage some of their larger counterparts. Can they use their well known scholarship programme to generate some top results?

- Waikato, Massey Palmerston North, Massey Wellington, Massey Albany – the heat is on to prove the form books wrong. Can they come up with the goods?

USNZ have also invited Universities from Australia and the Pacific Islands to compete at the Games. Several Australian Universities are expected to send teams as well as a large contingent from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.

Uni Games 2007 is organised by University Sport New Zealand, in partnership with the Christchurch City Council, The University of Canterbury, University of Canterbury Students’ Association, Sport Canterbury and the New Zealand Community Trust.

For further information click on www.universitysport.org.nz.

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28 Games sports include;

Aquathon - QEII Park
Badminton - TBC
Basketball - QEII Park
Beach Volleyball - Pioneer Stadium
Canoe Polo - QEII Park
Debating - University of Canterbury
Fencing - University of Canterbury
Golf - Avondale Golf Club
Hockey - Porritt Park
Karate - University of Canterbury
Lawn Bowls - Fendalton Bowling Club
Mountain Biking - Halswall Quarry & Victoria Park
Netball - Bishopdale YMCA Recreation Centre
Rowing - Lake Hood, Ashburton
Rugby League - Rugby League Park
Shooting - TBC
Soccer - QEII Park
Sport Climbing - The Roxx Climbing Centre
Squash - University of Canterbury
Surfing - Taylors Mistake
Table Tennis - Table Tennis Canterbury
Tennis - Wilding Park
Touch - University of Canterbury
Ultimate - University of Canterbury
Underwater Hockey - QEII Park
Volleyball - Pioneer Stadium
Water Polo - QEII Park

Competing New Zealand Universities:

University of Auckland
AUT University
University of Canterbury
Lincoln University
Massey University Albany
Massey University Palmerston North
Massey University Wellington
University of Otago
Victoria University of Wellington
University of Waikato


ENDS

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