Athletes off to games

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Some of the Ashburton athletes heading to Invercargill to compete at the 2022 Colgate Games. They are pictured with David Jones (right) from sponsor NBS Ashburton.

Twenty four young athletes from Ashburton are primed and ready to compete at the annual Colgate Games, the country’s largest junior athletics competition.

The South Island Games will be hosted at Surrey Park, Invercargill and run from January 14-16.

The competition is set to attract 829 athletes from 69 clubs.

Athletes are aged between seven and 14 and will compete in running, throwing and jumping events.

Ashburton Athletics Club secretary Alanna Peck said athletes were excited and ready to do their best.

It was the largest contingent from Ashburton taking part in the games for a number of years, she said.

The club had 80 juniors this season and held its club nights on Wednesdays in the Ashburton Domain oval.

Athletes practised events like shot put, discus, long jump, high jump and running events ranging from 60m to 1500m.

The season ran from October to March and included interclub days with clubs in the Mid South sub centre. Mrs Peck said Ashburton had nine relay teams entered into the Colgate Games, including six teams in 100m races and three in medley races, which featured two 100m runners, a 200m runner, 400m runner and 800m runner.

She said the Ashburton contingent was expected to be near the front of the procession at tomorrow’s march past, which marked the opening of the games.

They would be wearing smart matching singlets courtesy of sponsor NBS Ashburton.