The size and popularity of national and international Masters Sports competitions continues to grow and gain notoriety with each passing major event. This fact is evident by a statement released by the New Zealand government indicating the 2017 World Masters Games was a resounding success on all levels.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman shared the specifics in early August.
“New Zealand is gaining a reputation for hosting world class events and hosting major events provides a welcome boost for our economy,” said Bridges.
“An independent economic impact assessment commissioned by the organisers of the World Masters Games has shown that the Games added $63 million GDP to New Zealand. This is around 18 per cent more than the original target of $52 million.
“58 per cent of the athletes, officials and supporters were international visitors. This means that more than 16,000 participants have contributed over 302,000 visitor nights to New Zealand’s economy. The visitor nights are over 13 per cent more than the target of 266,000.
“Through the Major Events Development Fund, the Government invested $11 million into the event, making it the largest investment from the fund to date. Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) also committed $11.75 million.”
“After four years of planning the pinnacle sporting event for master’s age competitors, the World Masters Games, was a great success for all involved,” stated Coleman.
“The task of bringing together such a complex sporting event is considerable, with 28 sports across 48 venues and more than 28,000 participants. The success of this games is a testament to the hard work put in.
“The Local Organising Committee were ably supported by sports and venue partners, commercial sponsors, local iwi, Games ambassadors and a considerable volunteer workforce.
“Over 3,200 volunteers donated more than 75,000 hours of their time to keep the games on track and their efforts were greatly appreciated.
“The ‘sport for all’ philosophy of the games was highlighted by the age range of those attending. The average age of the competing athlete was 54 years with 25 years and 101 years being the youngest and oldest athlete respectively.”