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New Zealand Festival of MindSports Comes To Thames

Published: Fri 17 Jan 2014 12:38 PM
New Zealand Festival of MindSports Comes To Thames
Visitors will be arriving in Thames on the last Friday of February for an inaugural sporting weekend of a different kind that could bring around a million dollars into the town over one weekend.
The first annual New Zealand Festival of MindSports is being held at a number of locations in Thames and has already attracted international champions in bridge, checkers and draughts and more.
In becoming the first official New Zealand MindSports festival location, Thames joins the ranks of international MindSports Festival hosts like Prague, Las Vegas and Singapore. Festival games also include Scrabble, mah jong, backgammon, Magic-The Gathering, Sudoku and Dungeons and Dragons, which is also celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year.
But Thames is not only about watching world-ranked champions clash. The town is also putting on learner’s demonstrations so anyone who wishes can learn to play and maybe even entering on the weekend and becoming the first NZ Pentamind Champion, pitting themselves against the other players in up to five of the competitive games on offer over the weekend.
Between 500 and 800 players are expected to come and participate in the festival. International players travel the world for world-class championships and festivals. Already, overseas war gamers have been requesting 2015 festival dates so they can book their calendars and family holidays a year in advance. Most gamers come with partners who like to use the trip as a vacation while their other halves satisfy their competitive streaks.
Based on a study prepared for the Hauraki Rail Trail, initial estimates show each person likely to spend about $180 while here. With spectators, members of the public from other areas and learners also expected to add to the numbers, the inaugural New Zealand Festival of MindSports has the potential to become a massive annual economic boon to Thames.
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