Registrations have now opened for next year's World Masters Games 2017 with table tennis one of the 28 sports on offer.
Shane Warbrooke (CEO, Auckland Table Tennis Association) says with 25,000 athletes expected from more than 100 countries, the event offers a rare opportunity to compete on a world stage and celebrate sport in a festival-like setting.
"More than 12,000 international competitors are expected to travel to New Zealand for the occasion, with half coming from Australia. We'd like to ensure visiting table tennis competitors get a warm welcome but also feel the strength of our competitive spirit!" Shane Warbrooke says.
As part of the public launch of registration, World Masters Games 2017 announced the first 10 competitors of the Games, being a blend of elite and social competitors, collectively representing the diversity of the Games. The first 10 were:
- Martin Snedden (Golf) - the former New Zealand cricketer and Rugby World Cup 2011 CEO who will compete in golf as participant number 00001.
- Anthony Mosse (Swimming) - US based former Kiwi Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist returning home to enjoy both a social and competitive WMG2017.
- Allison Roe (Rowing) - New Zealand's athletics golden girl is moving out of her comfort zone into a completely new sport for WMG2017 - single sculls rowing.
- Duane Kale (Swimming) - four gold medals and four world records at the 1996 Paralympics marked him as one of our greatest para athletes and he will be back in the pool in Auckland.
- Jenny Holliday (Softball) - The fastest woman softball pitcher on the planet and a firm believer in the spirit of sport who will look to roll back the years on the diamond in 2017.
- Peter Walters (Touch) - NZ's Mr Touch is a regular winner at masters games in NZ and overseas, a world renowned coaching icon and firm believer in the sport for life ethos.
- Bob Thomas (Football) - his social football team have fronted up at three previous WMG, finally winning a medal last time out and are once again determined to have a ball on and off the field.
- Anna Stanley (Track) - Silver Fern Captain who will lead a 4 x 400 metre track relay team 'Flabs not Abs' and is looking forward to the Games' camaraderie and taking on the Aussies once again.
- Jude Kelly (Basketball) - Canadian masters basketball supremo and DJ who can't wait to defend his team's (the Stooges) WMG2013 title in New Zealand, a bucket list destination for him.
- Moira Gerken (Netball) - Southland netballer whose team members have been playing with or against each other for 30 years and are relishing the chance to compete in their first WMG.
As with all other World Masters Games, there is generally no need to qualify or be selected to compete. As long as you are over the minimum age, and in the case of para-sport meet the minimum disability classification requirements, you can take part. Competitors represent themselves, not their country, and compete in their own age group.
Registrations for the Games close 31 January, 2017. There are two reasons to sign up now. Places in some sports are limited, meaning registrations could close early if places full up. In addition, anyone who registers between now and 31 March 2016 is automatically inducted into the WMG2017 HALL OF FAME offering special benefits such as a limited edition PIN, and merchandise discounts.