Stunning ceremony launches Anchor AIMS Games

The Trustpower Arena was packed today for the opening ceremony of the 2019 Anchor AIMS Games. Photos/Video: Daniel Hines/SunLive

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The 16th Anchor AIMS Games International Sporting Championships launched today with a stunning opening ceremony at the Trustpower Arena.

With 11,500 students from 368 schools competing from throughout NZ, Asia and the Pacific, the venues are bursting.

It’s made perfect sense to hold Sunday’s opening ceremony as two separate ceremonies, one at 3pm and the second at 7pm, enabling 5,000 to attend each event. The format and acts for Show 1 and Show 2 are exactly the same.

Earlier today, the cross country event was held despite the rainy weather causing the ground to become very damp. Athletes from Waiuku to Waitomo, from Wairoa to Whanganui as well as Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and the Cook Islands are in town to compete in this huge and exciting sporting event.

Run over six days, the games gives Year 7 and 8 students (11, 12 and 13 year olds) an opportunity to compete against the best of their age in New Zealand and invited countries.

The Anchor AIMS Games is a strategic partnership between Sport Bay of Plenty, the four Western Bay Intermediate Schools and the Tauranga City Council. The Anchor AIMS Games is a Tauranga City Council Legacy event.

The aim of the event is to provide opportunities for students in the middle years to not only be active, enjoy the competition and celebrate fair play but also to compete at an elite level for their age group.

The event is renowned for providing the high standard competition, challenges and friendship that develops young sports people. The 23 sports codes offered in 2019 are being hosted in superb facilities, encouraging participants to perform at their best.

In 16 years, the Anchor AIMS Games have gone from a small festival of sport, to what is now considered the International Championships for Intermediate and Middle schools. Hand in hand with the growth, has been the emergence of the Anchor AIMS Games as a pathway to sporting achievement and success. The Games are bigger each year, to a point where they’re now global.

Free bus travel has been provided throughout Tauranga during the duration of the Anchor AIMS Games this week. By downloading the Anchor AIMS Games app, athletes, referees and coaches can get on a Bay Hopper bus anywhere in the city and not have to pay.

Free bus travel throughout Tauranga has been provided for the duration of the Anchor AIMS Games this week

“Our fundamental goal is for every single competitor to have undiluted fun; to revel in the company of their teammates and schoolmates; to experience new stuff; to create amazing memories,” says a games spokesperson on the official Facebook page.

“Sport is an incredible mechanism for social change and a great way to lead an active lifestyle but above all, it's a joyous celebration.

“For the next six days, we expect only cheers and smiles on the sideline, matching those on the fields of play!”

The 16th Anchor AIMS Games International Sporting Championships opened today in Tauranga and will run until Friday September 13.  A livestream of the 2019 Anchor AIMS Games is available across four channels.

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