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Three top events for Christchurch

22 November 2007

Christchurch has this week won the right to host three fantastic new events in the City.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says a third announcement will be made this afternoon, following the news that Christchurch will play host to the 2010 IPC World Athletics Championships, and that it is the new home of the prestigious Ellerslie International Flower Show.

Christchurch defeated Barcelona to win the rights to host the 2010 IPC World Athletics Championships – the biggest event of its kind outside of the Paralympic Games. Held every four years, it involves more than 1200 athletes, 900 officials, 200 media representatives and will have an economic impact to New Zealand in excess of $72 million.

Bob Parker says to win the hosting rights to such a world-class event is a huge boost for the city.

"This would be a very proud day for our former Councillor and world champion paralympian, Graham Condon. Being awarded these games is a great tribute to Graham, who was so tragically killed several months ago. Graham was a driving force behind the planning for this bid and was passionate about bringing this event to Christchurch.

"The fact that we were able to beat off a city such as Barcelona is indicative of the fact that Christchurch has a great modern infrastructure, a wonderful range of hotels, excellent transport structures and a central city environment that allows people to move around easily. It has all the right ingredients for a world class event," he says.

Council’s Recreation and Sports Unit Manager John Filsell says Christchurch was able to offer a complete package based around the city’s strengths in its bid for the 2010 IPC World Athletics Championships.

The City Council was part of a Bid Trust for the 2010 Championships, which involved issuing an expression of interest, building a bid document, a site visit from IPC officials, and finally a presentation to the committee this month.

"Our bid promoted the overall experience of a lifetime for athletes in Christchurch. Because we are not a large city, the athletes are more visible and can be embraced by the wider community.

"We are a compact, flat city. It’s easy to get around and we are able to offer athletes the support they need to make the Championships a fantastic event," Mr Filsell says.

The main action will take place at QEII Park, with various other city facilities used as warm-up and training venues.

Christchurch City has a rich history of hosting friendly, efficient and successful international sports events and especially disability events such as the IPC World Swimming Championships in 1998, the ISMWSF World Wheelchair Games, ISOD World Athletics Championships, the Boccia World Cup in 2003 and the World Wheelchair Rugby Championships in 2006.

The announcement that Christchurch will host the 2010 IPC World Athletic Championships came hot on the heels this week of the news the City won the Ellerslie International Flower Show.

The Christchurch City Council’s vision, passion and enthusiasm won over the Ellerslie International Flower Show management team, who decided this week that the internationally-renowned event would have a new home in Christchurch.

The event currently attracts 65,000 people over five days. It has been held in the Auckland region since its inception in 1994 and is worth more than $14 million a year to the local economy.

"Christchurch is an event City – to be able to attract two such prestigious events is a huge success story. And we have even more good news for the City. An announcement will be made at 4pm today, in association with New Zealand Golf and the NZPGA, which will be of huge interest to the golfing industry and the wider Christchurch community," Mr Parker says.

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