The World Masters Games 2017 will open in Auckland, New Zealand, one year today (21 April) delivering the largest Para sport programme to date, with 11 sports and 12 disciplines included.
Archery, athletics, badminton, canoe (flat water and waka ama), cycling, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair tennis and triathlon will be the para-sports contested in the Games, which will take place between 21-30 April 2017.
There is no need to qualify. As long as the athlete is over the minimum age for the chosen sport and meet the minimum disability classification requirements, he or she can compete.
“We are thrilled to see a variety of Para-Sports included in the World Masters Games 2017 as it provides a fantastic opportunity for all New Zealanders and international competitors to participate and compete on a level playing field," said Fiona Allan, the Chief Executive of Paralympics New Zealand.
“Internationally, Para sport has seen huge growth in terms of public interest and competing athletes and we look forward to working with the Organising Committee at the World Masters Games 2017 to promote the Para sport events domestically and internationally.”
In February 2016 it was announced that four-time Paralympic swimming champion Duane Kale will act as ambassador for the event. Kale, who won a total of six medals at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympics is also an International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board member.
Kale’s appointment was announced by World Masters Games 2017 Chief Executive Jennah Wootten: “We are delighted to welcome one of New Zealand’s greatest Paralympians to our group of ambassadors. Duane is both an outstanding athlete, and an outstanding sports administrator, as reflected by his roles as Chef de Mission at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games and as a board member for Paralympics New Zealand and the International Paralympic Committee.”
“We are extremely proud to have put together the largest ever Para sport programme in the history of the World Masters Games movement. Duane is passionate about opportunities to advance Para-Sport, so the fit is great for all involved.”
Kale said the opportunity to be involved as an ambassador for World Masters Games 2017 matches perfectly with his belief in the unique ability of sport to create social change.
“The coming together of athletes to a multi-sport event such as the World Masters Games brings a wide range of people into one place with a common purpose.
“The values of sport which encourage camaraderie, competition, personal success and growth are ones I am always delighted to be part of and World Masters Games 2017 epitomises these very values,” he said.
Kale joins the 11 ambassadors based in New Zealand – Hamish Carter, Jenny-May Clarkson (nee Coffin), Garth Barfoot, Susie Simcock, Bryan Williams, Allison Roe, Noah Hickey, Cory Hutchings, Anna Stanley, Nathan Twaddle and Mark Orams.
For more information, please visit World Masters Games 2017