Colgate Games leads off big sporting weekend
The 40th edition of the South Island Colgate Games is underway at Aorangi Park on Friday.
The games, which run until Sunday, kicked off a busy weekend for Timaru. The three-day speed skating Tour of Timaru also began Friday while the second round of the New Zealand Superbike Championship roars into action at Levels Raceway on Saturday and Sunday.
Completing the main sporting quartet is the Timaru Ocean Swim on Sunday.
New Zealand Children’s Athletics Association Inc. secretary Anita Sutherland said the events were going well.
‘‘It all seems to be ticking over really well.’’
She said Friday’s wet weather hadn’t affected the event too much so far.
‘‘The weather seems to have improved as the day’s gone on.
‘‘Hopefully the weather keeps improving.’’
Metservice was forecasting occasional rain or drizzle clearing around midday Saturday with increasing sunny spells and then sunny on Sunday..
Almost 1000 Kiwi kids from 64 athletics clubs from around the country.
Colgate Games South Island chair Diane Smith said the games have a proud history in the South Island.
‘‘Some of the competitors in this year’s games are second or third generation participants, with grandparents who’ve competed in previous South Island events over the years.’’
Colgate New Zealand general manager John Garside said this year’s event was about celebrating the heritage of the games, while encouraging New Zealand’s up and coming athletes to stay in athletics.
‘‘The 40th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the past, as well as future generation of athletes.
‘‘Many kids have been training hard all summer to beat the benchmarks their parents, and even grandparents set when they competed in the Colgate Games in years gone by - it’s great to watch.’’
Accommodation in Timaru is stretched as thousands have flocked in to town for the several sporting events taking place.
Timaru District Councillor Nigel Bowen said earlier in the week it was fantastic when such events came to town.
Day 2 of the Colgate Games gets underway at 9am on Saturday with the Boys 800m Run Grade 10.
The Superbike Championship will start at 9am.
Day 2 of skating’s Tour of Timaru starts at Caroline Bay on Saturday, while the Timaru Ocean Swim will commence at Caroline Bay at 9:30am on Sunday.