Region works on bid to host 2017 national Special Olympics
The Nelson region is developing a bid for the 2017 national Special Olympics Summer Games.
If successful, the region would host up to 3000 special Olympians, coaches, crews and supporters.
The 2017 Games would be held at Saxton Field and the ASB Aquatic Centre in late 2017.
The Sport Tasman-led bid is being developed by a core group of staff from Nelson City and Tasman District councils, Sport Tasman and the Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency (EDA).
Sport Tasman chief executive Nigel Muir said the bid had yet to be considered by the two councils.
But if it succeeded the region would "showcase what we have and beat its chest about the weather, the local training environment and the facilities the community, the councils and funders have delivered".
The bid was being built on the experiences learned from hosting Rugby World Cup 2011matches and South Island Masters Games, Mr Muir said.
Nelson City councillor and community services committee co-portfolio holder Pete Rainey said the possible bid had not yet been discussed by Nelson City Council.
Tasman District Council was to discuss the bid in its community services meeting today.
Mr Rainey said the bid's progress would depend on the councils.
"We have no idea of any financial implications and that would be one of the conditions," he said.
However, a successful bid would highlight the capability of the region's shared sports facilities and open the door to other events.
Mr Rainey said the ability of the sports facilities to cater for big events was proven by last year's Masters Games which saw 2900 athletes compete in 50 sports, making it one of the biggest sporting events in the country.
With Sport Tasman being named as event organiser for next year's South Island Masters Games the facilities would be tested again before 2017, he said.
"The crucial aspect would be volunteer support but the region has already shown it can step up to the mark and I have no hesitation in believing that the region can again rise to the occasion."
EDA chairman Bill Findlater said he believed the region was up to the job. "If we didn't we would not be putting a bid in.
"And there is definitely a bid going forward."
The bid has to be before Special Olympics New Zealand by July 27.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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