Christchurch is counting down to a golden era of sporting history when the world’s mature athletes gather in the South Island city for the first ever combined Golden Oldies Sports Celebration.
Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018 promises to be the largest sports participation event ever held in Christchurch and will bring thousands of international visitors to New Zealand from all over the world.
The event is sponsored by Christchurch Casino and will take place over the course of a month from 1 – 29 April, 2018.
Athletes need to be aged over 35 to compete with most likely to be aged between 50 – 60 years old. They will compete in 10 different sports - rugby, soccer, softball, hockey, netball, golf, cricket, basketball, lawn bowls and squash. It’s the first time all Golden Oldie world events have been held in the same place at the same time.
The Golden Oldies movement which had its origins in New Zealand in 1979 has captured a special niche on the sporting scene, catering for mature athletes with an accent on 'Fun, Friendship and Fraternity'.
All levels of sporting interest are catered for from enthusiasts to retired international players looking for a way to wind down full involvement in their chosen sport.
Up to 70 per cent of visitors for the Golden Oldies event are expected to travel from overseas, and 20 per cent from outside Canterbury. They will be encouraged to experience the city’s attractions and regional highlights as well as travelling further afield to see more South Island and New Zealand visitor attractions. It is projected that the Christchurch Canterbury region will receive NZ$33 million of direct economic benefit from the Golden Oldies festival.
To date athletes from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, USA, UK, Germany Japan, Hong Kong, South Africa, Russia and the Pacific Islands have registered.
Competition will be based at a number of well-known Christchurch sports venues including Hagley Park which is in the centre of Christchurch city and the hub for much of the city’s sporting activity. The park is within easy walking distance of the city's entertainment and accommodation hubs.
Golfers taking part in the Golden Oldies World Golf Festival's Four Course Challenge can expect to enjoy play at four very different and challenging courses around the Canterbury region. Terrace Downs, Pegasus, Harewood and Christchurch Golf Clubs will all host competition and every participant has the chance to compete in a Million Dollar Hole in One Challenge.
Ambassadors for Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018 include one of New Zealand’s best known golfers, Sir Bob Charles, five times world champion squash player Sarah Fitz-Gerard from Australia and well known NZ Rugby coach Sir Graham Henry.
Christchurch, New Zealand's second biggest city and gateway to the South Island, is affectionately known as the ‘Garden City’ and offers visitors an eclectic mix of adventures and experiences. Organisers considered it a perfect fit for the Golden Oldies Sports Celebration with world class facilities and an impressive history of sporting heroes.
Christchurch is New Zealand’s oldest city but is emerging as the country’s newest destination having reinvented itself in the wake of the 2011 earthquake. It has become one of the most unique urban redevelopments in the world attracting attention for creativity and innovation. The constantly-evolving urban landscape is taking form with glistening new buildings, like the new transport centre, and stylishly restored heritage precincts such as the Isaac Theatre Royal and 1930s New Regent Street, sitting among refreshed open spaces and edgy 'gap filler' installations.
Exceptional projects like the Transitional 'cardboard' Cathedral, creative street art, clever retail spaces and a raft of quality cafés, bars and restaurants are creating a potent vibe in this once conservatively-minded city. Although parts of the central business district that bore the brunt of the damage are still a work in progress, visitors to Christchurch will find plenty to see and do.