AUCKLAND, Apr 21 – The Asia Pacific Masters Games (APMG) Penang 2018 was officially launched in Auckland today (April 21). The Games in Penang will be held on 8-16 September 2018 will be the first multi-sport Masters games event to be staged in Asia.
The event was launched by a symbolic exchange of Games flags between Penang State Executive Committee (EXCO) for Youth and Sports, Women, Family and Community Development; YB Chong Eng, and the President of the International Masters Games Association (IMGA); Kai Holm.
The launch ceremony was also attended by the IMGA Chief Executive Officer; Jens Holm, APMG Chief Executive Officer; Linda Geh and Tourism Malaysia Auckland Director Rosli Reshid Mohd Saini. Jens Holm also confirmed that the Games will be opened to participants from around the world. Jens said the Games may be named Asia Pacific Masters Games, but they welcome participants from all countries.
“The Masters Games principle is that athletes do not represent their countries, but themselves. So, we have no problem with participants from outside the Asia Pacific region joining the Games in Penang,” said Jens. There is no qualifying or selection criteria to register and compete in APMG 2018. A person only needs to meet a minimum age requirement for a particular sport, which on average is 30 years old, to participate.
YB Chong Eng also listed out Penang’s specialties which would attract foreign visitors to APMG 2018. She said Penang offers the perfect opportunity for participants and their friends and families to marry sporting fun with a splendid getaway in one of South East Asia’s top holiday destination. The APMG 2018 will be the first major multi-sport event to be held in Penang since the successful hosting of the 2000 Malaysia Games (SUKMA).
A total of 21 sports are included in APMG 2018: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Cycling, Dancesport, Football, Golf, Hockey, Netball, Shooting, Softball, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Tenpin Bowling, Volleyball, Weightlifting and Wushu.
Meanwhile, the competitions will be held at various sporting and public venues in Penang, such as the City Stadium, University Science of Malaysia, SPICE Arena, Relau City Sports Complex, Penang Municipal Park and Nicol David International Squash Centre.
After the APMG launch, the attendees, which included IMGA and International Olympic Council board members, and members of the New Zealand media and tourism industries, were treated to a presentation on Penang tourism titled “Penang Here & Now” led by the Penang Global Tourism chief executive officer Ooi Chok Yan. The APMG delegation from Penang are in Auckland in conjunction with the World Masters Games, which opened at the iconic Eden Park Stadium in Auckland today.
Besides the official launch, the APMG delegation, which includes the Malaysia Major Events general manager Tony Nagamaiah and Penang State Sports Council director Frederick Tan, are also involved in promoting and creating awareness about APMG among the more than 25,000 World Masters Games participants, and observing the running of the Games by the New Zealand organisers.
The main philosophies of the Masters Games are to promote friendship and understanding, along with competition, regardless of gender, race, religion, or sport status. This unique spirit will be very much alive in APMG 2018 Penang. The organisers are optimistic in having more than 5,000 participants for the Games.
The multi-sport Masters Games is new in Asia, and the Games organisers are hopeful the staging of APMG 2018 in Penang will help create awareness and popularise the Masters Games concept in the region. Penang won the rights to host the inaugural APMG event from IMGA, the representative body of masters sport worldwide, after beating out several other bidding host cities.
The APMG 2018 Penang organisers are working hand-in-hand with the Olympic Council of Malaysia to facilitate the running of the Games with the respective national and state sports associations. The Malaysia Major Events (MME), a division of Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), an agency under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia, are also strong backers of the APMG 2018 Penang.