Masters Games general manager Mike Cronin could well afford to be pleased to learn Wanganui District Council has agreed to double funding to the organisation that runs the event in Wanganui.
He will most likely not be alone in feeling a sense of relief, even satisfaction, at this turn of events. Cynics might suggest that being a part-owner of the New Zealand Masters Games, it was a given the council would stump up the extra cash. If councillors chose not to increase the contribution, it would therefore be shooting itself in the foot. If that was the case, you could argue that the council could have, and perhaps should have, stepped in when the sponsorship arrangement with ACC ended.
That didn't happen and suggests organisers have done a pretty good job of maintaining the Masters Games in Wanganui as a self-funding event, not relying on handouts to maintain viability.
The success of the games is hard to argue. It brings in up to $5 million each time it is held here and in 2011, attracted people from 13 different countries as well as throughout New Zealand.
While much of the festival occurs within the games village, there are definite spin-offs for Wanganui, such as accommodation and the paid work put in to make the event happen. That, in itself, is quite something but how do you measure the impact of international promotion as guests return home with tales of a wonderful Wanganui experience? That, and the website traffic as people search the event and encounter Wanganui and its many charms, is hard to quantify.
It is fair to say times have been tough in the past couple of years with the loss of a naming rights sponsor and a decline in competitor numbers. Credit then must go to the organisers on maintaining a quality event which has kept it attractive to the hundreds who did attend last year.
The event is deserving of council support and it is refreshing to see that achieved. Now, we can all look forward with certainty to a great event in 2013. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org