SunLive – Beach Cleanup is a new addition to AIMS Games

Tauranga City Council and Zespri AIMS Games will help the 11,000 athletes visiting Tauranga in September to ‘give back’ to their host city by offering them the opportunity to help clean up local beaches.

Supported by Tauranga City Council, Zespri AIMS Games is the largest sporting event for 11-13 year olds in the Southern Hemisphere.

Each year the games have a positive economic and cultural impact on Tauranga – in 2019 alone the tournament attracted over 20,000 visitors and supporters who spent $6.2 million in the city.

In 2022, athletes can also have a positive impact on the local environment by participating in a Zespri AIMS Games Gives Back beach cleanup.

Taking place on September 6 and 7, the cleanses will allow athletes to take a break from sporting action and reset on Tauranga’s famous beaches, while also having a positive impact on the local community.

Tournament Director Kelly Schischka says the new initiative aligns well with the core values ​​of Zespri AIMS Games.

“It’s about creating friendships and great memories both on and off the sports field.

“Caring for the environment is a key consideration in everything we do, so we are delighted that our athletes have the opportunity to be part of the first-ever Zespri AIMS Games Gives Back.”

Tauranga City Council Venues and Events Manager Nelita Byrne said an important part of welcoming visitors to the town is promoting kaitiakitanga – preserving our spaces and places for generations to come.

“Zespri AIMS Games has a huge economic benefit for Tauranga, but we have to balance that with the impact on the local environment,” says Nelita.

“Zespri AIMS Games Gives Back will encourage our visiting rangatahi (youth) to value and protect the environment in Tauranga Moana, and anywhere else they visit in Aotearoa.”

Tauranga City Council and Bay of Plenty Regional Council are also sponsoring free bus travel for Zespri AIMS Games athletes, to encourage the adoption of low-emission transport throughout the games.

Buses will be free for athletes traveling on any city network, along with a park and ride service between venues.

Nelita says sustainable transport initiatives for events is something the council wants to see a lot more of in the future – it’s a community outcome in Tauranga new strategic direction.

“The free buses mean our athletes can reduce their emissions as they travel across the city, plus the added benefit of reducing congestion and pressure on our local roads. It’s a great victory on all fronts.

Young people help clean up a beach. Photo provided.

For more information on Zespri AIMS Games Gives Back, including how to register, go to

How does the Tauranga community benefit from Zespri AIMS Games?

  • In 2019, more than 20,000 athletes and supporters came to Tauranga for the games, resulting in nearly 75,000 visitor nights and $6.2 million spent in the city.
  • Approximately 1,220 mentions per year of Zespri AIMS Games on social media and traditional media, raising the profile of Tauranga as a destination and encouraging visitors.
  • Each year, a Zespri AIMS Games Green Team, made up of students from the local middle school, helps educate and minimize landfill waste. Thus, 2,924 kg of waste collected during the 2019 Games was composted or recycled.
  • Our visiting rangatahi have amazing experiences, cementing Tauranga as a great place to visit, work or play.

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