The city burst with intermediate aged kids this week when thousands arrived for the annual Anchor AIMS Games hosted in and around Tauranga. The event is estimated to have brought around $3 million into our local economy.

From small beginnings in 2004 - when there were 14 sports and only 760 competitors from 17 schools - to this year where 11,500 athletes from more than 365 schools from all around New Zealand and the Pacific competed in 23 sports. This year also marked the third time that para-athletes were included in the games with 20 disabled students attending the event.

I saw first hand the families enjoying the many facilities around the region - from the movie theatres to the hot pools, to ten pin bowling and in fact I would venture to suggest that most of the local entertainment facilities were well patronised.  

This event is absolutely amazing and the organisation and logistics are phenomenal. Congratulations to all involved and thank you for keeping this amazing sporting event in our region through your hard work and organisation.  

Many of the EVES families competed and enjoyed the experience. Long may it last.