Due to severe rain in Christchurch over the last week, the venue for the ANZ New Zealand Olympic Team Welcome Home celebrations on Friday 24 August has been changed from South Hagley Park to Pioneer Recreation and Sport Centre at 75 Lyttelton Street, Spreydon.
"Hagley Park is flooded, and even if we wait a week, the grounds simply won’t be dry enough to handle any large crowds, vehicles or infrastructure on Friday 24," says John Filsell, Christchurch City Council Unit Manager Recreation and Sports.
"With even more rain forecast for the weekend, we’ve decided to change venues to Pioneer Recreation and Sport Centre. It’s a great facility with plenty of capacity and can be used rain or shine, and we’re sure that the event will be just as memorable. We’re looking at options to get a big screen outside the stadium, so fans who can’t find a place inside can watch the ceremony before the Olympians come out to meet them."
The schedule of events remains unchanged, with Christchurch sports fans welcoming their Olympic heroes at noon on Friday 24 August.
Following a ceremony, the New Zealand Olympic Team, which is hoped to include most of the 27 medal-winners, will make their way into the adjacent Centennial Park to sign autographs, snap photos, answer questions and compete against fans in various activities - including hockey, volleyball, athletics, football and inflatable boxing - provided by the New Zealand Institute of Sport. There will be competitions, interactive games and live music, including performances from the world-famous New Zealand Army Band.
After the ceremony, some athletes will head out into the community to visit schools, hospitals, care facilities and businesses. The schedule for these visits also remains unchanged.
For more information on this event, please visit www.olympicwelcomehome.co.nz.
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