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.

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