Wed, Oct 11, 2023 2:51 PM

Masters prepare for fun, games and camaraderie


Peter Jones

The South Island’s sporting Masters come out to play in Marlborough over the next fortnight.

From October 10-23 the province will play host to the annual South Island Masters Games, an ever-popular mix of competitiveness, companionship and camaraderie which is expected to attract around 2000 participants, officials and supporters to town.

The masters will spread their skills across 25 different sports at different venues. Minimum ages range from 20 at swimming to 50 on the croquet greens.

The onus is on having fun, with competitive grades thrown in for good measure in several sports.

Two years ago, the SI Masters Games were staged in Marlborough, with COVID regulations in place, meaning event director Simon Carter had a tough job balancing the stipulations of the pandemic with the demands of the competition. He admits it has been an easier task this time around.

“It will definitely be a little more relaxed in terms of requirements … we are just looking forward to getting up [to Marlborough] again.”

He says numbers will be similar to the 2021 Marlborough event, with team registrations down slightly, but individual participants on the rise.

“I think a lot of people are still getting that post-COVID travel bug out of the way, travelling overseas,” said Simon. “But in saying that, we still have over 45 teams in both netball and football. I’m really happy with those numbers … we are sitting around 1800 to 2000 total participants at the moment.”

During COVID the ever-important social events were restricted, but not this time, said Simon.

“We were really hampered two years ago in terms of the social aspect, what we were able to do, but this year we have a full range on offer.

“Among other social events, we have an Oktoberfest Party at the Marlborough Events Centre on the first Saturday night, then on the second weekend we have a cocktail function with live bands and a DJ playing out at the Vines Village.”

The Masters Games kicked off with golf competition at Rarangi yesterday.

The Big Tippers volleyball side enjoyed themselves in 2021.

Sports, dates, venues, minimum ages

Athletics - Oct 15 – Athletic Park (minimum age 30)

Basketball – Oct 14-15 – Marlborough Lines Stadium (25)

Cribbage – Oct 18-19 – Blenheim Bowling Club (30)

Croquet – Oct 19-20 – Blenheim and Brooklyn clubs – (50)

Croquet golf – Oct 16-18 – Blenheim and Brooklyn clubs (50)

Cycling (road) – Oct 15 – Fairhall region (35)

Cycling (track) – Oct 14 – Athletic Park (35)

Euchre – Oct 16-17 – Blenheim Bowling Club (30)

Football – Oct 13-15 – A&P Park (M35, W25)

Golf – Oct 10-13 – Rarangi and Marlborough clubs (30)

Hockey – Oct 20, 23 – College Park (30)

Mountainbiking – Oct 14 – Wither Hills (30)

Netball – Oct 14-15 – Lansdowne Park (30)

Pickleball – Oct 18 – Simcox Stadium (35)

Swimming – Oct 21 – Marlborough Lines Stadium (20)

Tennis – Oct 21-22 – Marlborough Tennis Centre (30)

Indoor rowing – Oct 14 – Marlborough Lines Stadium (30)

Touch – Oct 21-22 – Lansdowne Park (27)

Volleyball – Oct 22-23 – Marlborough Lines Stadium (M30, W25)

Water Polo – Oct 14-15 – Marlborough Lines Stadium (35)

Yachting – Oct 14-15 – Queen Charlotte Yacht Club (35)   TBC

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