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Excitement builds as 40th Colgate Games kicks off this weekend

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

About 1,500 Kiwi kids are ready, set and good to go!

The 40th anniversary of the Colgate Games - New Zealand’s junior athletics championships - kicks off in Auckland this weekend.

This year has attracted 165 clubs from across the North and South Island as well as international competitors from Australia and Fiji.

Colgate Games North Island Chair Fiona Maisey says the 40th anniversary of the Colgate Games is a landmark for the athletics community.

"The Colgate Games have been a rite of passage for young athletes for 40 years.

"Many participants here in Auckland have parents or grandparents who have competed in the games - it has become a summer tradition lasting generations," said Ms Maisey.

The North Island Colgate Games are being held from the 5 - 7 January at Mount Smart Stadium - the home ground of the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

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

Colgate New Zealand General Manager John Garside says the 40th anniversary is about celebrating the heritage of the Colgate Games and encouraging New Zealand’s up and coming athletes to stay in athletics.

"The 40th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the past, as well as the future generation of athletics in New Zealand.

"Many kids have been training hard all summer to beat the benchmarks their parents, and even grandparents set when they competed in the early Colgate Games - it’s great to watch," said Mr Garside.

The Colgate Games will continue in Timaru from 12 - 14 January with about 1000 participants from 64 clubs in attendance.

Colgate and the New Zealand Children’s Athletics Association have provided eight scholarships worth $700 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.

The 2018 North Island Colgate Games

When: 5 - 7 January 2018

Where: Mount Smart Stadium, Maurice Road, Penrose, Auckland

The 2018 South Island Colgate Games

When: 12 - 14 January 2018

Where: Aorangi Park, 70 Morgans Road, Gleenwood, Timaru

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