What are you doing on Sunday?
Hopefully, your answer is taking part in the BNZ Surf to City, because it is going to be a fantastic day out.
Sport Southland is proud to co-ordinate this event; primarily because it's an event for all Southlanders. It doesn't matter how old or young you are, how fit or otherwise you might be, there's a distance level or an option for you.
You can run, walk or cycle the 12km from Oreti Beach to Queens Park or run or walk the ILT Foundation 6km event. There's also the AMI Kids in the City and the Challenge 2.5km for people with a disability.
Our entire team puts a huge amount of work into this event, and ensuring it retains its participation-based, fun, community feel and atmosphere - so we hope to see every one of you on the start line on Sunday.
If you haven't entered yet, you can enter at Sport Southland, BNZ, Allan White Sports, Wensley's Cycles, AMI or United Video South City. Or check out the details online at surftocity.co.nz.
The BNZ Surf to City starts what is a hugely busy month for us. The following weekend - Saturday, February 15 - we organise the MLT Moonshine Trail at Dolamore Park, near Gore, for which entries are rolling in. This is a very popular mountainbike and off-road run event; again with distance options for most abilities, including three mountainbike options, a 15km off-road run and a 5km run/walk.
It's important for us, when we are running events, to have something for everyone so that people are able to select a distance or option that suits them. Whether they are looking for a good, challenging mountainbike ride, or a more leisurely, but still challenging, 5km walk, we want to cater to anyone and everyone, so various distance options are certainly a theme with our events.
No exception to that will be the H&J's Wai Try, on Sunday, March 2, which will include 10 options. This is a new event for us as we have taken over the reins from Environment Southland, which did a fantastic job to set up such a great event in Invercargill. It's always exciting getting your teeth into new events and putting our Sport Southland stamp on it, so we are really looking forward to it.
The events component of Sport Southland really is growing and goes from strength to strength, which we believe reflects a real growth in the recreation space in Southland. As that side of our organisation grows, so, too, does the demand on staff, so we are delighted to welcome a new staff member, Grace Jones, to our team. Grace, who is from Christchurch, joined our team this week - so she's right in the thick of it already, and will focus on events.
Those of you taking part in the last of our 5K Series tonight (registrations from 5.30pm at the Waihopai Floodbanks, see 5kseries.co.nz for details), be sure to give her a wave as you cross the finish line. She will be learning the ins and outs of our timing system from the comfort of our events caravan.
Along with the 5K Series tonight, I will be busy with traffic management and tying up all of the (often very large) bits and pieces that go along with organising an event such as the BNZ Surf to City.
I'll see you on the start line - and again at the finish line - on Sunday.
Matt Sillars is the events manager at Sport Southland.
- The Southland Times