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ActiveVoice: Commonwealth Games community impact

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gold medalists Women's Black Sticks.

I’m reading a great book at the moment called How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, but to be honest, I haven’t read it for about 10 days as I have found the secret to stopping time - the Commonwealth Games!

I was captivated from the start when Sophie Pascoe was selected as our flag bearer. Sophie is an inspiration to so many, and having the para-athletes competing alongside the able-bodied is a wonderful inclusion – and one that I hope will continue with other major sporting events.

Another aspect I was impressed with was equalising the number of events for both men and women, bringing the total to 275 events across 18 sports.

At Sport Bay of Plenty, we focus on all aspects of community sport and recreation and ways to get people active – and events such as the Commonwealth Games provide wonderful inspiration to the communities we work in.

And not just through the athletes and the fierce competition they must face and overcome, but the support teams that surround each athlete. I loved watching the athletes look into the crowd for their coaches, managers or trainers. In particular, watching the pole-vaulters – seeing the expressions, sign language and the acknowledgement on their faces. They have quite a unique relationship I would imagine.

The athlete who made the biggest impression on me, and many others I’m sure, was weightlifter David Liti – so humble and delighted to have succeeded in his sport. His enthusiasm to stay on at the venue to savour the moment and to ensure the spectators knew “New Zealand was in the house” really charmed me.

David went on to win the Dixon Award for outstanding sporting spirit at the closing ceremony, which was well deserved!

The Bay of Plenty athletes did well with squash player Amanda Landers-Murphy successfully taking away gold and bronze in her doubles matches, Dame Valerie Adams winning silver in shotput, and Amy Robinson and the Black Sticks women claiming gold, as well as the O’Dea brothers taking bronze at the beach volleyball – a new sport in 2018.

These individual athletes, alongside the sevens rugby teams who are based in Tauranga, will certainly mean the 2018 Bay of Plenty Sports Awards will be an exciting evening, and a difficult one for the judges!

The 2018 Bay of Plenty Sports Awards is the 50th year of the awards and Sport Bay of Plenty is excited to bring a wonderful evening of celebration in November.

We would love to hear from any previous winners of the Supreme Award over the past 50 years to involve you in the celebrations – please contact me on melanies@sportbop.co.nz

Be the inspiration. Share the dream.

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