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A huge cheer for the Games

Left to right: Gary Collins – Suzuki GM Autos, Rachel O’Connor – NZ Masters Games Manager, and Johnny Fraser – winner of the new Swift. Photo provided by Whanganui Chronicle.

The NZ Masters Games is the largest annual multi-sport event in the country. This year Whanganui played host with 10 days of excitement, 56 sports, around 300 events and over 4,850 competitors.

Different sports set different ages for when athletes become masters. For most sports it’s about 30 but with participants ranging from 20 to 95 there are opportunities for everyone to participate – whether you’re in to win, beat your personal best or just have fun.

This year’s Games was a huge success with over 600 more entries than 2019. With only one morning of rain, the sun shone over the River City for most of the 10 day event. “We were very fortunate with the weather this year, which always adds to the experience,” says Rachel O’Connor, Games Manager.

“Conditions were great, and with over 3,000 visitors to our city there was a general buzz which was awesome to be a part of.”

Along with a full range of both summer and winter sports the Masters Games have a bustling games village, and spectacular opening and closing ceremonies with medal awards and entertainment every night.

As an official Supporting Partner of the NZ Masters Games, Suzuki was excited to provide a brand new Swift as the major raffle prize. This was drawn at the games hub under the watchful eye of a police official, Glen Osborne, who also happens to be a games ambassador. Everyone had their fingers crossed, and the winner was… Johnny Fraser from Whanganui.

A call went out to Johnny live from the Games Hub. A moment of stunned silence was followed by cheering and whistling as he told his fellow footballers the news. Johnny was lost for words and extremely grateful, to both Suzuki NZ and the NZ Masters Games. It was a fantastic moment.

“We’re extremely grateful for the on-going support the New Zealand Masters Games receives from Suzuki New Zealand,” says Rachel. “It’s a long-standing partnership that was taken to the next level this Games, with the Swift attracting a lot of interest and excitement across our participants. A wonderful moment to be a part of, that’s for sure.”

The next NZ Masters Games will be held in Dunedin in February 2022. To find out more, go to nzmg.com