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Let the Games begin!

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People of all ages had a go at the traditional sports, from tree climbing to digger driving and gumboot throwing.

It was the fourth Hilux New Zealand Rural Games that Toyota had supported and included a Toyota hospitality tent with plenty of activities.

There was the dunk your mate activity, and attendees could also enjoy barista-made coffees and a sausage sizzle through a gold coin donation, with funds raised donated to the not-for-profit organisation LegaSea – a passion for Toyota ambassador and extreme fisherman Matt Watson. The amount raised for LegaSea reached more than $1,500.

Matt helped participants spin the wheel in the hope of winning a day’s fishing trip with the expert himself in the Hauraki Gulf. Matt was also available to talk to those wanting to hear a few fishing yarns.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager Marketing and Information Services Andrew Davis says, “It was fabulous to see the crowds in town for the event – it was a real chance for young people to see and have a go at some traditional sports.”

Hilux New Zealand Rural Games founder Steve Hollander says the fifth annual Hilux New Zealand Rural Games was the best yet, with families from all over the country in the city for the event.

“The games grow from strength to strength every year and have become a stalwart of the rural sports calendar in New Zealand.

“We increased the activities for young people, adding sulky rides with miniature ponies and increasing the number of self-drive diggers for children, and more than 400 children learned to climb a tree – it was a brilliant weekend,” says Steve.

“Other changes included larger big screens and more stands for people to sit and watch the action. The Farmers’ Market was a new addition, as was the opportunity for neighbouring districts to promote what they have to offer.”