By Dasha Kuprienko
Sport New Zealand boss Peter Miskimmin reckons events like the NZCT AIMS Games tick all the right boxes.
The week-long tournament has attracted more than 8000 intermediate-aged children to Tauranga this week, with 19 sports in action.
Miskimmin is hugely impressed with this year’s AIMS games and the buzz it’s causing.
“It would have been so unbelievable to have an event like this when I was at school but we weren’t so fortunate,” Miskimmin said. “I grew up playing many sports and any sport that got me out of the classroom was a good sport. What’s unique about this is all the codes coming together to one event and it doesn’t happen (anywhere else). It’s a real celebration of sport here.”
And while the number of children playing sport in New Zealand is huge compared to other countries, Miskimmin said, in a technology-focused century, it’s now much harder to encourage children to play sports.
Anything that provided children an opportunity to be involved in a sport is a good idea, he believed.
“One, they challenge themselves. And two, play for their team and represent their schools.”
The head of New Zealand’s main sports funding provider knows a thing or two about sport – he’s a former captain of the New Zealand hockey team with 150 caps and went to two Olympic Games.
Miskimmin spent today watching football, netball and hockey on the second day of the Games, after attending last night’s opening ceremony energy, where he felt the energy was fantastic.
Miskimmin wants caregivers and parents to ensure that participants spread all their energy across the week, not in one day.
He also hopes that children loved the event and will come next year.
“That will give them memories forever.”