All sorts of sports for record-sized games

Rock climbing and gymnastics were just some of the codes competed in by local schools at this years’ AIMS Games held in Tauranga last month.

The competition ran from September 9 to 14, with 22 codes on offer in the event’s 15th year.

Participation hit a record high with 10,851 students competing. It is the biggest event of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Mahurangi College took 79 students to the games to compete in 10 sports.

College sports coordinator Karlie Stanbra says having three girls compete in rock climbing, which was introduced to the games this year, was the highlight for her.

“It was amazing to see our girls climb these walls that were very challenging and make it to the top. Everyone got excited watching that,” Karlie says.

Also competing as an individual was 12-year-old Gareth Ferguson of Otamatea High School, who competed in gymnastics.

His best result was second equal in vault, out of 22 competitors, followed by 10th in tumbling twisters.
Other individuals included Mahurangi’s Mia Stanley Hunt, who finished 25th out 35 competitors in multisport and seventh in the 200-metre backstroke swimming final. Meanwhile, Miriama Iverson came 84th out of 164 runners in the cross-country.

Jordon Thomas was the school’s other standout, but on the whistle rather than the field.

He umpired the boys hockey final at the tournament and picked up his third AIMS Games Officials Medal for doing so.

Wellsford School also had a presence at the games with its netball team coming second in D Grade after going down in the final to Papamoa College 30-16.

Otamatea fielded a netball team that finished up in B Grade, placing 63rd out of 122 teams.

The Mahurangi netball team came 90th, finishing up in C Grade. Mahurangi girls futsal finished 17th equal and last.

Mahurangi boys football came 43rd out of 57 teams, boys hockey 13th out of 14 teams, boys rugby 28th out of 42 teams and girls hockey 19th out of 22 teams.

Gareth Ferguson of Otamatea High School was stoked with second place.

Students competed in a total of 22 sports at AIMS Games this year.

Jordon Thomas of Mahurangi College took control of the boys hockey final.