INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rural Games Weekend Bringing Together The Legends Of Rural Sports & Raising Funds For Cyclone Gabrielle Relief

Published: Thu 2 Mar 2023 07:32 PM
The Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games is returning to Palmerston North on March 10 -12, 2023. This annual event celebrates the country's rural sporting heritage and showcases a variety of unique and entertaining competitions.
Visitors can watch and participate in a wide range of events, from the famous Sheepdog Trials, Highland Games and Gumboot Throwing to the more unusual events such as the Speed Shearing and Cow Pat Throwing competitions. There's something for everyone at the
New Zealand Rural Games, including food trucks and a family-friendly atmosphere.
Highlights include:Luke 'Blue Mountains' Reynolds – the Aussie giant will take on the Kiwis for the first time since 2020 (due to Covid-19) in the Sir Eion Edgar Southern Hemisphere Highlander Champion brought to you by Forsyth Barr14 people from across the North Island, including one woman, will compete in the inaugural Golden Loader Forestry Championships brought to you by Forestry Growers Levy Trust.World Trophy 2022 STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® Champion, Jack Jordan from TaumarunuiThree world record-holding shearers will compete, Sacha Bond, Megan Whitehead, and Jack Fagan, who will compete in the Norwood New Zealand Speed Shearing Championship.Four-time winner of the NZ Golden Pliers, Tony Bouskill from Napier, will take on leading fencers, including his dad, in the Future Post Speed Fencing Championship.Male and female provincial Tree Climbing Champions will compete in the New Zealand Speed Tree Climbing Champions, supported by Guardian Tree Services and the NZ Arboriculture Association.South Island and North Island Gumboot Throwing championships, including the current men's and women's champions, will compete in the Skellerup New Zealand Gumboot Throwing Championship.Competitions include Manawatū's Best Mullet competition and Dress Like a FarmerOur Chainsaw Sculpting Competition has changed to a demonstration and auction as most of the participants have been affected by the flooding including one who lost their home.
"The Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games celebrates our country's rural heritage and showcases some of our oldest sports along with some quirky ones like egg roulette and cowpat throwing," said Steve Hollander, the event's founder. "This year's event promises to be even bigger and better than ever, and we can't wait to welcome visitors from around the country and beyond."
Comedians Jono and Ben and social media influencer Tangaroa Walker will join in for some hijinks. Laureus World Sports Awards nominee and dual Paralympian Cameron Leslie MNZM, former All Black Captain and one of the greatest flankers in history - Ian Kirkpatrick MBE, as well as the 9th fastest bowler on the planet, Adam Milne who will Have a Go at Egg Throw & Catch thanks to Property Brokers. Our MC line-up includes broadcasters: Jamie Mackay, Rowena Duncum, Craig ‘Wiggy’ Wiggins and Craig ‘Ferg’ Ferguson,
Held annually in Palmerston North, Mayor Grant Smith said the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games is a must-see event for anyone who loves sports, outdoor activities, and all things rural.
"Rural New Zealand has received a battering in recent weeks, and it's important that we support rural sporting groups and communities through events like this."
The New Zealand Rural Games Trust works hard to ensure its events are free to the public.
The Trust runs several scholarships for rural youth entering tertiary study and supports charities such as Rehoming Standard Bred Horses and Working Dogs and Gumboot Friday.
Chair Margaret Kouvelis said this year, you'll see those charities back at the Games and a big push to raise funds for Cyclone Gabrielle relief.
"Our neighbours are doing it hard right now; the scale of the disaster is unprecedented. Given that, for the first time, we will fundraise to support those who are having to rebuild their lives, farms, orchards, vineyards and businesses."
Digital welcome signs at the games will display a QR code for fundraising for rural communities affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. An auction will be held at the Norwood NZ Rural Sports Awards on Friday evening at Awapuni, and the Rural Challenge Charity Golf Day on Thursday, March 9, will donate 80% of funds raised to the relief effort.
The Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games will be live-streamed and featured in the TV3 Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games 1-hour highlight programme hosted by Greg O’Connor and Olivia Caldwell:TV 3: Saturday, March 25th, 2023, at 5.00pmTV3; (Easter weekend replay), Saturday, April 8th, 2023, at 9.30am.
Sign up for our Whotsonwhere App – a new events scheduling app. If you register at the Games, you'll go in the draw for a Winter Weekend Getaway in Queenstown valued at up to $5500.
Thanks to:Palmerston North City Council who will provide free overflow parking on Railway Reserve land a short 5-minute walk from The SquareHorizons Regional Council who will provide free bus services in Palmerston North, Ashhurst and Feilding for Saturday and Sunday.

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