The New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) recently awarded Massey University a grant of $12,000 to help it host the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships on the weekend of the 17th and 18th of June.
“Massey University is committed to sport and recreation on both a national and local platform and was delighted to host the 2023 NZ Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships. We are grateful for this support from NZCT which was used to purchase essential equipment and services for this national sporting event.”
Jacob Oram, Massey University’s Sport Advancement
Massey applied to NZCT through the Massey University Foundation (Massey’s own charitable trust) for the funding to assist with essential expenses associated with operating the event, namely a sound caravan, sound system, first aid and portaloos. Through precision timing, identifiable race numbers and on-site first-aid medical expertise, Massey was able to prioritise participant and supporter comfort and health and guarantee a positive experience for everyone involved.
The NZ Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships is an annual event governed by the New Zealand Secondary Schools Athletics Association and sanctioned by School Sport New Zealand. This year saw over 850 registered secondary school athletes compete, from as far north as Whangarei and as far south as Invercargill. There were seven individual or school-based cross countrys on the Saturday, with boys and girls races for Year Nine, Junior, and Senior athletes. There was also a para-boys race which featured 12 para-athletes. Course length depended on age, but was either 3km, 4km, or 6km. Sunday saw the annual regional cross country relays which featured 15 regions compete for the title, with the big city teams from Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and Waikato dominating.
Hosting the event on university premises also provided the opportunity to highlight the extensive sport and exercise courses that Massey offers. Massey has multiple facilities on the Manawatū campus that provide playing options for the wider community, including the Manawatū Community Athletics Track and an artificial hockey turf. Rugby, football, netball, volleyball and basketball are all played on the many fields and courts on the campus. Annually, Massey hosts numerous school-aged sporting events that utilise the outstanding facilities for the benefit of all ages of athletes across the Manawatū.
“I’ve been running competitively for the last ten years - locally, regionally, and since starting intermediate school five years ago, at various national events. A huge highlight for me is representing the Manawatū in our own local region and being able to showcase our region to runners from across the country. The course typifies our amazing agricultural connection to our region and looks like a ‘proper’ cross country course. The team at Massey University are amazing venue hosts, the facilities are very athlete-friendly and the team there are always extremely supportive.”
Lucy, Year 12.
“The course and facilities at Massey University are amazing and they always put on fantastic events. The organisation and communication is always great which makes it easy on those taking part and for supporters. The course looks like classic cross-country terrain which we all love, it makes for an exciting competition and great banter afterwards regarding the challenges and cool bits. I’m super proud to show off our region to my running friends that come here from all over New Zealand.”
Millie, Year 9.
Palmerston North Boys’ High School is proud to team up with Massey University and Feilding Moa Harriers to be able to showcase cross country running at its best. NZCT and the other sponsors have enabled us to put together an experience that is the pinnacle of the secondary school's cross country events. It will excite and enthuse young athletes from all over New Zealand.”
Peter Finch, PNBHS Director of Sport.
“Massey University is committed to sport and recreation in the community, either through our internal students and staff, or externally in the wider Manawatū region, including schools, clubs, sports organisations and other stakeholders. Massey has invested in numerous facilities on the Manawatū campus which are enjoyed by competitors and athletes of all ages and skills on a daily basis.” - Dr Tere McGonagle-Daly, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Students and Global Engagement.
“The Cross Country event held on the Manawatū campus provided an enjoyable and memorable experience through the competitive course design and the use of our facilities. We hope our student athletes and their supporters enjoyed the weekend and the Manawatū region.“ - Jacob Oram, Massey University Sport Advancement Manager.