NZ Masters Games 2023

Following on from the successful games held in Dunedin during February the Master Games Games is all set for Whanganui in 2023. Manager Heather Cox says, “The New Zealand Masters Games is New Zealand's largest and longest running multi-sport event, held in Whanganui and Dunedin, alternating every year. Entry is open to all, irrespective of ability or skill and without requiring membership with a sporting organisation, although many participants are registered with a Masters club for their chosen sports code. It is Whanganui’s premier sporting event, generating significant economic and social benefits for the local community.”

“Delivering an event of this scale requires expertise, capacity, and collaboration. We use a mix of paid event staff, commercial contracts with sports clubs, facility managers and suppliers, and help from around 150 volunteer hosts. NZCT’s generous funding support will contribute to the costs of hiring the event team that supports the Games Manager to deliver the Masters Games 2023.”

“The Masters Games also drives capability development across the entire sporting industry. We provide best practice guidance on event coordination, standards and marketing, and promote sports and Masters clubs. We work hard to advance understanding of sustainable practices and have implemented various initiatives that reduce our carbon footprint and support/promote action on climate change.”
Games Manager Heather Cox

“For Whanganui, the Masters Games encourages people to participate in sporting and recreational activities, promoting health and well-being. We attract visitors to experience Whanganui through sports and recreation and tourism activities, promoting Whanganui as a destination to live, work, and study. We provide opportunities for locals to contribute to the delivery of a significant community project, stimulating a sense of pride of place and strengthening social capital. We boost the economy through indirect and direct spending by visitors, locals, and event delivery.”

“We inspire people to volunteer, which creates social inclusion and improved well-being. We implement a volunteer programme that engages, connects and prepares people for volunteer work. We also increase people's awareness about health and well-being issues in general, partnering with the Whanganui District Health Board to provide effective messaging and access to resources.”

Over nine days, from 3-12 February, the Masters Games 2023 will host around 5,000 participants competing in fifty-five plus sporting codes in various locations across Whanganui. When not competing in sports, participants (and their supporters and our sponsors) can relax and enjoy entertainment at the Games Hub located in the CBD every night. People can socialise, enjoy live performances, receive a health check-up, register for sports, purchase Masters Games merchandise, and learn more about Whanganui.

Cox adds, “Since its inception in 1989, we have grown from humble beginnings of 1,500 entrants competing across twenty-nine sports to the heady heights of over 8,000 entrants and sixty-seven sports, making it the biggest multi-sport event in Aotearoa. Although recent numbers have settled around 5,000, it is still the largest and longest running multi-sport event. It’s also the most fun!”

The NZ Masters Games tournament received a grant of $80,000 towards the cost of salaries for event support team members for the 2023 event, held in Whanganui between 3 – 12 February