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A veteran of the Canadian Masters basketball circuit, Toronto-based Jude Kelly, has been making the most of his time off the court in Auckland while here for World Masters Games 2017.

Kelly is a walking, talking, passionate advocate for all things sports – especially basketball and masters sport – and has come to New Zealand to compete in the world’s largest multiple-sport event which kicked off on Friday.

Following an impressive collegiate basketball career including achieving three-time All-Canadian All-Star status and induction into two halls of fame, Kelly continued his love of the sport and now shoots hoops in masters competitions. He was part of the gold medal-winning Stooges basketball team (50+ division) at the previous Games in Turin, Italy four years ago, and is also the Canadian representative on the Federation of International Masters Basketball Association.

This time round in Auckland, he has joined up with a team of equally enthusiastic Brazilian basketballers in a quest for a medal in the 50+ division, and to make the most of exploring Auckland while they’re here. 

“Landing here in Auckland was a trip of a lifetime for me and has exceeded all expectations,” says Jude.

“I’ve been trying to take in as many of Auckland’s treasures as possible. I’ve been up the Sky Tower which was wonderful. The [Games] Opening Ceremony at Eden Park was spectacular and I’ve been out on Auckland’s magnificent harbour sailing on one of the boats from the America’s Cup.”

Auckland is playing host to 28,000 participants from around New Zealand and across the globe, including a 2,000 strong contingent of Canadians. It is bigger in scale than even the Olympics in terms of athletes participating.

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