Colgate Games set to return in January
The Colgate Games is set to return in early January, with 64 athletes from the Bay of Plenty region competing.
The event is New Zealand’s largest junior athletics competition for 7-14-year-olds.
The Colgate Games have a proud list of alumni that includes the likes of kiwi athletics icons Tom Walsh (shot put) and Nick Willis (middle distance) but also legends from other codes such as netball star Bernice Mene.
“The Colgate Games has become a rite of passage for so many Kiwis and I’m sure we’ll be seeing many more stars of tomorrow in action in January,” says Athletics NZ chief executive Peter Pfitzinger.
The north island event will be held in Taranaki while the south island games will be held in Nelson.
Bellevue Athletics Club, who are based in Tauranga, are sending the most athletes with 35 competing.
President Stu Thompson describes the games as the pinnacle of the season.
“It’s the greatest opportunity for the athletes to challenge themselves.”
Competitors will do their best in the track and field events involving running, hurdles, relays, shot put, high jump and long jump- while the over 14s also have a chance at javelin.
Stu says the primary focus should be enjoyment, making friends and having a great time, but the games are also a vital step in the process to competing at a professional level.
Last year Bellevue took home one silver and two gold medals, as well as nine bronze, six silver and nine gold pennants.
Other clubs competing from the Bay of Plenty region include Greerton Amateur Athletics Club with seven athletes, Athletics Tauranga with four, Te Puke Athletic Club with six, Whakatane Athletics and Harrier Club with 16 and Waihi Amateur Athletic Club with two.
There are almost 2000 competitors expected in the North Island Colgate Games and 889 at the South Island Colgate Games.
The North Island games will be held from January 8-10 at TECT Stadium, while the South Island games will be held from January 15-17 at the Saxton Field Sports Complex.
The Colgate Games have been held for more than 40 years.