Pacific Scoop

Rugby tipped as top sport for Christchurch’s Golden Oldies

Press Release – Christchurch NZ

What do the Moscow Lads, the FBI, Alice Springs Dingoes and the Saracens Saggy Sacks have in common?MEDIA RELEASE

Rugby tipped as top sport for Christchurch’s Golden Oldies

15 February 2018

What do the Moscow Lads, the FBI, Alice Springs Dingoes and the Saracens Saggy Sacks have in common?

They are all teams of avid rugby enthusiasts and they’ll be descending on Christchurch’s Hagley Park this April to participate in the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration.

The iconic global sports festival will bring together more than 5,000 sports enthusiasts from across the world to patriciate in a month-long celebration of fun, friendship and fraternity.

Steve Murray, Captain of North Canterbury rugby team the Saracens Saggy Sacks, says he and his teammates are looking forward to scoring a few tries against their international competitors then sharing a pint or two in the pub afterwards.

“Golden Oldies competitions are all about making the sport less serious and more social,” says the veteran rugby player. “Most of the players have done our dash with competitive sports in our younger years and now it’s time to focus on the fun and the friendships you form along the way.”

Mr Murray says the fun and friendships formed during the games are more important than winning. “I’m a front row prop so I don’t move too fast these days, just take a couple of steps and pass the ball,” he says.

“People don’t want to tackle me and I don’t want to tackle them – I’m getting a bit too fragile for that now. I just like having a bit of a laugh and showing that I can still flick the ball.”

Formed in 1979, Golden Oldies sports aim to bring together men and women aged 35 years and above to enjoy competitive sport in a fun environment. While passion for the sport trumps age or ability, the Golden Oldies World Rugby Festival is tipped to attract some serious punters, with over 120 teams from 12 different countries registered to play in Christchurch. By far most popular sporting code, rugby registrations show New Zealand is currently dominating the field with 50 rugby teams from across the country signed up for the event.

Australia is hot on our heels with 44 teams, followed by Argentina with 7 teams and 6 teams from Japan. Rugby teams have also registered from Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, England, Germany, the USA, Russia and South Africa, according to event organiser Vintage Sport and Leisure.

Teams of men and women from 12 different countries will compete in various sporting codes including cricket, netball, football, hockey, golf, lawn bowls, squash and softball during the four-week Sports Celebration, marking the first time in history that all Golden Oldies events will be held in the same host city.

Linda Falwasser, General Manager of Attraction at ChristchurchNZ, the city’s economic development, tourism and major events agency, says the sports festival is a great opportunity for Christchurch to celebrate our new city with the world.

“As city hosts, we are thrilled to be welcoming one of Christchurch’s largest ever sporting events to our city and encourage the whole community to get involved, check out the games and enjoy the experience.”


Notes to editors:

Sponsored by Christchurch Casino, the Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration 2018 event will run from 1 – 29 April, 2018 and registrations for the various sports festivals close in March.

For more information on events, teams or how to become a community volunteer for the 2018 Christchurch Casino Golden Oldies Sports Celebration, check out or

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