Around 151 Indians are travelling from India to New Zealand to compete at the 9th World Master Games to be held in Auckland. The world’s largest multi-sport event is held every four years with 28 sports categories and 45 disciplines.
The 10-day event will start on Friday, April 21 with the opening ceremony at Eden Park and conclude on Sunday, April 30.
Archery, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Canoe, Cycling, Lawn Bowls, Rowing, Rugby, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Sailing, Volleyball, and Waterpool are some of the 28 sports categories.
New Zealand will host 231 matches across 48 competition venues in Auckland and the Waikato region over ten days this year.
Most of the Indian sportsmen and women travelling to New Zealand are participating in the athletics (cross country/road runs), basketball, cycling, golf, squash, swimming, table tennis, weightlifting, and para-athletics.
Athletes as young as 25 years old and as old as 101 years old are participating in the mega sporting event. 101-year old Man Kaur, 78-year old Usha Sharma, 77-year old Dharam Paal Sharma, and 76-year old Shaila Tilak are competing in the cross country run in athletics.
“Age is no bar, and therefore I am interested in participating in the world-level championship here,” Usha Sharma, the 78-year old athlete said.
82-year old Om Autar Seth, 73-year old Bakula Patel and 71-year old Gopal Rao are competing in the swimming category, and 81-year old Mukund Palvalkar is participating in Badminton group.
“Even though I am suffering from Asthma since last 55 years and this has never been an impediment in my pursuit of becoming a National Swimming Champion since last 15 years. I would like to swim till the last day of my life,” Om Autar Seth, the 82-year old swimmer said.
Ella Kumar, a member of the Puketapapa Local Board, is participating in the 10 km cross-country run scheduled for 7:30 am on Saturday, April 22. Ms Kumar is also a volunteer at the event and will be lead a team of volunteers at three venues, Pakuranga Golf Club, Trust Arena and Henderson Sports Complex.
The closing ceremony will be held at 7.30 p.m. at the Entertainment Hub on Queens Wharf on Sunday, April 30. The next Word Masters Game will be held in Kansai region of Japan in 2021.