Kiwi masters nationals, pound for pound, 70 times bigger than U.S.

New Zealand media are reporting the start of their 3-day masters outdoor nationals Friday. But don’t snicker when story says: “More than 220 competitors will line up at the New Zealand Masters Athletics Track and Field Championships which is being staged in Nelson for the first time this weekend. The championships will feature athletes from right across the country, from Northland to Southland, with 40 making the trip from Christchurch alone.” In other words, 220 is nothing to sneeze at in a nation of 4.6 million. To achieve that proportion, USATF masters nationals would have to draw 15,600! Of course, the Kiwis can travel easier between the islands than we can from coast-to-coast. But geeze, we have trouble breaking 1,100.

A view of modest but modern stadium where New Zealand meet is being held.

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March 2, 2017

4 Responses

  1. Curtis Morgan - March 3, 2017

    As a Yankee, I competed in the NZ Master’s Championships in Dunedin NZ in 2008. Believe me, they take ALL sport seriously Down Under. Which is why I’ve entered the World Championships in Auckland in April. IMHO, NZ is one of the most physically attractive countries on Earth. Alp-like mountains! Shocking river gorges! Fatal glacier climbing! Cities rebuilt from earthquakes (Napier, CCH, I reckon many more! It’s shake-and-bake country there!) Cities a helicopter ride from icebergs (Invercargill, for one; home of World’s Fastest Indian, I add). Also, the most equal racial diversity of any country on Earth (I’m talking to you, America). Anyway, I’ve entered six events (the max) for late April. Who else is game? See you in my rear view mirror, laddies.

  2. Weia Reinboud - March 3, 2017

    We had 320 athletes for the indoor nationals, on a population of 17 million. Which country is best in this statistics??

  3. ventsi - March 3, 2017

    Usually we have 120-170 participants in our outdoor nationals, on a population of 7 mln.
    I’ve been dreaming about visiting New Zealand for more than 20 years, and hope to realize that dream in February 2019. Every year in February NZ holds national Masters Games (last month in Whanganui – Foreigners are welcome. And the fees are much lower than those for WMG next month.
    I agree with Curtis (No.1). Some photos of NZ landscapes are mind-blowing. Nature is beautiful and still not polluted, people are nice, living standards are high, crime rate is low… The climate is good (without very cold or very hot temperatures; some people complain that weather there often changes in 10 minutes – sun, rain, strong wind, etc. – so one must be prepared with all kinds of clothes and umbrella in his luggage). What more can be desired? For the locals life there is probably boring, so they go to live and work in Australia or UK. In the countryside farm areas neighbors are often located several kilometers apart, so they can only visit each other by car.
    A dream country.

  4. Viddy Jermacans - March 3, 2017

    The four day Australian Masters Athletics Championships held in April 2016, in Adelaide, attracted 669 entries across all events. This number is similar to previous championships. This is based on a population of 24 million.

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