Tauranga City Council and Zespri AIMS Games will help the 11,000 athletes visiting Tauranga this September ‘give back’ to their host city through the chance to help clean up local beaches.
Supported by Tauranga City Council, Zespri AIMS Games is the largest sporting event for 11–13-year-olds in the southern hemisphere.
Each year the games have a positive economic and cultural impact on Tauranga – in 2019 alone the tournament brought in over 20,000 visitors and supporters who spent $6.2 million in the city.
In 2022, athletes can have a positive impact on the local environment too, by joining a Zespri AIMS Games Gives Back beach clean-up.
Taking place on 6 and 7 September, the clean-ups will allow athletes to take a break from the sporting action and reset at Tauranga’s renowned beaches, while having a positive impact on the local community at the same time.
Tournament Director Kelly Schischka says the new initiative aligns well with Zespri AIMS Games’ core values.
“It’s all about creating friendships and great memories both on and off the sports field,” says Kelly.
“Taking care of the environment is a key consideration in everything we do, so we’re excited that our athletes have the opportunity to be a part of the first ever Zespri AIMS Games Gives Back.”
Tauranga City Council Venue and Events Manager Nelita Byrne says an important part of welcoming visitors to the city is promoting kaitiakitanga – preserving our spaces and places for generations to come.
“Zespri AIMS Games has a huge economic benefit for Tauranga, but we need to balance that with the impact on the local environment,” says Nelita.
“Zespri AIMS Games Gives Back will encourage our visiting rangatahi (young people) to value and protect the environment in Tauranga Moana, and anywhere else they visit in Aotearoa.”
Tauranga City Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council are also sponsoring free bus travel for Zespri AIMS Games athletes, to encourage uptake in low-emission transport throughout the games.
Buses will be free for athletes travelling on any urban network, as well as a park and ride service between venues.
Nelita says sustainable transport initiatives for events is something council wants to see a lot more of in the future – it’s a community outcome in Tauranga’s new strategic direction.
“Free buses mean our athletes can reduce their emissions when travelling throughout the city, as well as the added benefit of reducing congestion and pressure on our local roads. It’s a big win on all fronts”.
More information on Zespri AIMS Games Gives Back, including how to register, can be found at nzaimsgames.co.nz/beach-cleanup.
How does the Tauranga community benefit from Zespri AIMS Games?
- In 2019 over 20,000 athletes and supporters came to Tauranga for the games, resulting in almost 75,000 visitor nights and $6.2 million spent in the city.
- Approximately 1,220 mentions a year of Zespri AIMS Games on social media and traditional media, raising the profile of Tauranga as a destination and encouraging visitors.
- Each year a Zespri AIMS Games Green Team, made-up of local intermediate school students, help educate and minimise waste to landfill. This resulted in 2,924.kg of waste collected at the 2019 games being composted or recycled.
- Our visiting rangatahi have amazing experiences, cementing Tauranga as a great place to visit, work or play.