The 2022 AIMS Games have started with a breathtaking opening ceremony in Tauranga.
The AIMS Games is a huge sporting event for New Zealand Year 7 and 8 students.
This year nearly 11,000 athletes from 323 schools have registered to take part. The tournament runs from September 3-9 with 23 sporting codes on offer.
Among the codes, indoor cricket’s introduction to the games has met with immediate success, drawing 170 players from around the country, while rock climbing (175 climbers), swimming (441) and tennis (160) all have their biggest-ever fields.
Hockey has moved from 11-aside and 6-aside competitions to straight 7-aside teams, enticing 1224 aspiring stick stars and making it the second-biggest code, behind netball (1442 players). Basketball (1197), football (1120) and rugby (1044) also have more than 1000 competitors each, although football’s numbers don’t include the 510 Futsal players also coming.
The tournament is in its 19th year, after starting with 750 competitors in 2004, although this year will be the 17th edition because of Covid-19.