Athletics New Zealand presents the 1st Annual
Douglas Track & Field, Trusts Arena
“From Grassroots...to Podium!”
After a gap of six years, Auckland will host its first international track and field meeting in February.
The Auckland Track Challenge will be held at Waitakere’s Douglas Track and Field stadium on Thursday 26 February. The international meeting will be part of a day-long Waitakere Athletics Festival.
The feature events of the Track Challenge will be the men’s 5000m and shot put, along with the women’s 1500m and pole vault.
The shot put field will include New Zealand star Tom Walsh up against American shot put legend Ryan Whiting and the best from Australia.
Three of New Zealand’s best ever middle distance athletes who featured prominently in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 5000m final have committed to the race, along with 2006 Commonwealth Champion Augustine Choge from Kenya and the leading Australians.
Zane Robertson, Jake Robertson and Nick Willis had a great tussle with the three Kenyans at the front of the field in Glasgow before Zane grabbed an outstanding bronze medal at the finish.
New Zealand middle distance stars Nikki Hamblin and Angie Smit will face off against Kenyan Magdalyne Masai and Zoe Buckman from Australia in the 1500, hoping to secure qualifying marks for the Beijing World Championships in August.
Rising pole vault star, world junior champs bronze medallist and Halberg Young Achiever finalist Eliza McCartney will be competing against leading Australian athletes.
The Athletics Festival will kick off in the morning with the Auckland launch of the IAAF Kids Athletics programme featuring World Long Jump record holder Mike Powell from USA. The session will see over 300 children from 10 West Auckland schools show-casing the international children’s athletics programme.
Powell took the world long jump record to an astonishing 8.95m at the 1991 Tokyo World championships, erasing the legendary Bob Beamon from the record books, and is one of the global ambassadors for the international programme supported by Nestle Healthy Kids.
Athletics New Zealand’s GET SET GO fundamental skills programme will be demonstrated by five and six year olds in the afternoon before an interclub programme for local athletes takes place, leading into the Auckland Track Challenge at 7.30pm.
High Performance Director Scott Goodman said the concept of the Track Challenge has come together by chance.
“Nick Willis and the Robertson brothers expressed an interest in trying to qualify for the Beijing World Champs 5000m with a race in New Zealand, and Ryan Whiting was coming out to New Zealand to compete against Tom Walsh in Christchurch, so from there it was pretty easy to build a high class meeting around these events,” Goodman explained.
We are creating a unique day catering for 5 year olds right up to the best Athletes in the world. The Waitakere Athletics Festival will feature four key elements aimed at different ages and abilities.
9.45am - 11.30am
Athletics New Zealand Kids Athletics Launch — We’re proud to announce a new programme for 7-10 year olds: IAAF Kids Athletics and we’ll be launching the programme at Douglas Track and Field with the help of IAAF ambassador and Long Jump World Record holder Mike Powell. West Auckland schools will be the first in NZ to try out the IAAF Kids Athletics activities and they’ll get to meet a true Athletics legend. The Kids Athletics Activities will be happening from 10am – 11.30am, Mike Powell Meet and Greet from 11.30am – 12.30pm.
A number of local Waitakere schools have been invited along to help celebrate the launch of the Kids Athletics programme. Each class of year 3 & 4 students will rotate around eight different activities including the Nestle Zone where the kids will learn about healthy eating and have the chance to meet and get a photo with Mike Powell. The emphasis is on fun team events that mimic the skills of Running, Jumping and Throwing.
More information on Kids Athletics can be found here
||Schools arrive at Trust Stadium
|9:45am - 10:00am
||Kids are put into teams
|10:00am - 10:15am
|10:15am – 11:15am
||Kids Athletics Activities
|11:15am - 11:30am
||Warm Down & return to school
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Get Set Go—Athletics New Zealand’s popular fundamental movement skills programme for children 6 and under. The focus here is on getting active and learning basic running, throw and jumping movement skills. Waitakere area schools will be invited to Douglas Track & Field to take part in a Get Set Go activity day. Get Set Go ambassador Valerie Adams be in attendance so kids can meet a true World Champion. The Get Set Go Activities will be happening from 1.00pm – 2.30pm.
More information on the Get Set Go programmes
5:30pm - 7:00pm
West Auckland Athletics Invitational Meet— with the help of Waitakere City Athletics club will be inviting teenage athletes down to Douglas Track & Field to rub shoulders with their heroes. A special invitational meet featuring some of Auckland’s top teenage talent will take place immediately before the elite competition—a unique opportunity for young Aucklanders to share the stage with Olympians. We’ll also have a charity race at conclusion of this section.
The invitational meet will take place from 6.00pm – 7.00pm
For information on this event please contact Geoff Wood on firstname.lastname@example.org
Auckland Track Challenge — At 7:30pm it’s the turn of the elite, where we bring World Class athletics to Douglas Track & Field for the West Auckland public to enjoy. We’ll have star studded fields—from NZ Olympians Nick Willis and Nikki Hamblin, Commonwealth games medallists Tom Walsh and Zane Robertson and World junior medallist Eliza McCartney as well as our overseas contingent led by World Champions shot putter American Ryan Whiting and Kenyan distance runner Magdalyne Masai, plus top Australian talent. A total of nine Commonwealth Games medallists and three World Indoor Champs medallists.
More information on the Auckland Track Challenge
The Auckland Track Challenge will happen from 7:30pm – 9:00pm.
19:30 Opening Ceremony
19:30 Women’s Pole Vault
19:30 Women’s High Jump
19:35 Women’s 400m
19:40 Men’s Javelin
19:45 Men’s 400m
19:55 Men’s 800m
20:00 Men’s Pole Vault
20:05 Women’s 1500m
20:10 Men’s Shot Put
20:20 Mixed Discus
20:25 Women’s 100m
20:30 Men’s 100m
20:45 Men’s 5000m.