Fri, Jan 14, 2022 5:25 AM

Almost 1,000 athletes set for Colgate Games

Richmond's Noah Leslie, 10, in the 100m at the North Island Games in Wellington. Photo: Alisha Lovrich

Staff Reporter

More than 800 young athletes are preparing to run, jump and throw their way to success at the South Island Colgate Games at Surrey Park, Invercargill, this weekend.

Families will converge on Southland to take part in the largest athletics event for children aged 7 to 14 years.

This year, 69 clubs will participate in the event – with the largest team of 58 participants from Hill City-University Athletic and Harrier Club.

Also among the athletes will be 27 locals, 19 from Athletics Nelson and eight from Athletics Richmond.

Colgate General Manager John Garside, says the Colgate Games have encouraged generations of young New Zealanders to give athletics a go.

“We’ve been going for more than 40 years and each year we create new friendships and memories for the athletes and their families."

He says the experience gained at the Colgate Games will help set these young athletes up for success, no matter where they finish in their chosen event.

Athletics New Zealand chief executive, Pete Pfitzinger says he is delighted both the North and South Island Colgate Games Island can go ahead under the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

“The Colgate Games are a highlight of the summer calendar, and we are committed to holding a fun and safe event.”

Established in 1978, the Colgate Games is one of the longest continuous sports sponsorships in New Zealand.

The Colgate Games is a vaccination pass event with all attendees aged 12 years and three months and older needing to hold a vaccination pass to attend the event.

Each year, Colgate and Athletics New Zealand provide eight scholarships worth $500 each for athletes who display outstanding performances.

The eight scholarships – four awarded each in the North and South Islands – are named after Colgate Games alumnus, Nick Willis and the funds will go towards helping the winning athletes achieve their athletics goals.

2022 South Island Colgate Games

Dates: 14 – 16 January 2022

Location: Surrey Park, Invercargill