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Sports Events Boost region

3 June 2008

Christchurch City Council efforts are behind the hosting of a range of prestigious international sporting events which is bringing millions of dollars into the city.

The council’s Sports Services Team works closely with a wide range of sporting organisations interested in attracting major events to the city, with the council offering bidding support; financial, promotional and logistical support.

Earlier this year, the World Bowls Championships were held at Christchurch’s Burnside Bowling Club - only the second time this event has been hosted in New Zealand and the first time that the Men’s and Women’s World Championships have been held together.

Players from 28 countries took to the greens over a two week period with Burnside Bowling Club as the headquarters and two other clubs (Bowls Papanui and Fendalton Bowling Clubs) as host clubs.  Players, officials, organisers, volunteers and supporters contributed to more than $4 million in economic activity in the city during the tournament.

“Topping off the success story, the New Zealand Black Jacks achieved more gold medals than any other country (4 golds and 2 bronze), and also provided the Leonard trophy (men’s) and Men’s and Women’s player of the tournament,” says Kerry Clark, the Chief Executive of Bowls New Zealand.

Hard on the heels of the bowls was the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship, which was held at Clearwater Resort.

“This is one of only four tournaments on  the PGA Nationwide Tour that are held outside the United States, so it presents a fantastic opportunity to introduce top golfers and golf enthusiasts to all that Christchurch and New Zealand has to offer,” says Mike Godinet of Tuohy Associates NZ, the Australasian golf management company.

The event has been held in Christchurch since 1920.  Formerly a match play event, it was taken over by the New Zealand PGA in 1965 and made into the 72 hole stroke play event that is contested today - as the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship.

Players aside, there were around 29,000 spectators and support staff attending the event in Christchurch - with around 10% of those coming from overseas.

“The resulting boost to the local economy has been estimated at around $6.9 million,” says John Filsell, the Christchurch City Council’s Recreation and Sports Unit Manager.

Upcoming big sporting events to be hosted in Christchurch include the 2008 World Vintage Rugby Carnival in September, The New Zealand Silver Fern Rally, the Head World Masters Squash Championships in October and the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in November.

It has also just been announced that Christchurch has won the rights to host the 2008 World Masters Series of Indoor Cricket to be held in November 2008 as well as the 72nd New Zealand Maori Golf Championships in January 2009.
Christchurch City Council staff assisted the Canterbury Maori Golf
Association with the winning bid document and supporting promotional material which was submitted to the NZ Maori Golf Association at the 71st NZ Maori Golf Championships held in Levin in January this year.  The championship has been held twice before in Christchurch, and returns to the city for its 72nd tournament. 
Up to 460 players will take part in the tournament, which is for amateurs ranging in age from 13 years (juniors) to 60 years plus (masters and golden oldies); but all must have an official golf handicap and be a current financial member of a golf club.  Past winners include Philip Tataurangi (1988, 90, 92) and Michael Campbell (1991).  The current ladies senior open champion is a 14 year old Christchurch student, Nellie Tulisi who won her title in Levin this year.
"We're delighted to welcome the tournament back to Christchurch and anticipate significant benefits for the city with the hosting of these major events," says Mr Filsell.


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