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2019 Finalists for Event Excellence Award

19 June 2019

In the lead up to the event, we are profiling each of our award category finalists. The Event Excellence Award recognises and celebrates best practice event planning and delivery in the sport and recreation sector.

We'd like to congratulate our finalists:

AIMS Games Trust - Anchor AIMS Games International Sporting Championships

The Anchor AIMS Games is a strategic partnership between Sport Bay of Plenty, the four Western Bay Intermediate Schools (Mount Maunganui, Otumoetai, Tauranga and Te Puke) and Tauranga City Council.

Since its inception in 2004, the Anchor AIMS Games has grown from 760 competitors representing 17 schools and four sporting codes to this year's fifteenth and largest version of the Games reaching record numbers.

The 2018 Anchor AIMS Games took place from 9 - 14 September 2018, with 326 schools and 10,851 athletes taking part - coming from all over New Zealand as well as Australia, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands.

The Games provide an opportunity for adolescents from all demographics to compete in competitions across 22 sporting codes.   For the second year, Para athletes competed at the Games in swimming and cross country.

Alongside showcasing the great sporting and recreational facilities that are available in Tauranga, the Anchor AIMS Games also demonstrate Tauranga's strong community values and pride in being the host city of this unique event - local marae, sports clubs, schools and hundreds of residents happily open their homes every year to welcome competitors and their supporters to the region.

The curated programme of entertainment and cultural activities delivered in conjunction with the sporting championship also adds to the vibrancy of Tauranga, creating a festival-like atmosphere that takes over the city for six action-packed days.

Basketball New Zealand - Tall Blacks vs China - FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

The Tall Blacks vs China - FIBA World Cup Qualifiers was held on 1 July 2018 at Spark Arena, Auckland.   This is a relatively new qualifying structure similar to the FIFA World Cup. The global tournament saw 80 nations competing for 32 spots at the FIBA World Cup 2019, to be held in China.

Basketball New Zealand was tasked with hosting six home games, which had to meet FIBA requirements.   The biggest of all these games was in front of 9,161 spectators at Spark Arena, Auckland against World Cup hosts, China.

As well as an expectation from FIBA and China and New Zealand based funders that the game would meet world class standards, the New Zealand public were new to the idea of live international basketball at this level, and the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers was also a new concept. A level of education was required to sell the event, especially when a basketball game of this size had never before been hosted in New Zealand.

FIBA sent a delegation of more than 50 VIPs from China and from their headquarters in Geneva, to be hosted by Basketball New Zealand. This delegation represented the local organising committees from the eight host cities for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

The scale of this event was huge - televised throughout many basketball-loving nations around the world, particularly throughout Asia. The total live viewing audience for the 2018 FIBA World Cup qualifying games involving China was at more than $61 million.

The game set a new record-attendance for an international basketball game in NZ.   Basketball New Zealand was praised by FIBA for the tireless work by the small team to put on a world class event that was a wonderful celebration of international basketball.  

Waka Ama New Zealand - 2018 Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals

The 2018 Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals were held in January at Lake Karāpiro in the Waipa District.   This was the 29th Anniversary of the annual event.

With 150 volunteers, more than 3200 paddlers and over 10,000 spectators at this year's event, the event is growing every year and involves competitors from clubs up and down New Zealand - from Kaitaia to Queenstown. Paddlers aged from five years old to over 80 years of age took part, with 380 races taking place over six days.

The event aims to grow participation in Waka Ama, allowing Clubs and communities to take part and excel through the sport. The unique event often sees multiple generations of whanau participating throughout the competition - often with grandparents, parents and children competing alongside each other.

Participation at the event has increased by 42% since 2012 and has also been the catalyst in the membership of Waka Ama growing by 98% over the same period.

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