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Thanks flow as Outgames officially closed

in NEW ZEALAND, 19/03/2011

Medals, music and speeches are closing out the AsiaPacific Outgames in Wellington. After a week of sport, human rights, arts and culture, plus parties a few hundred people have gathered in Civic Square where the event began with Out In The Square last Saturday.

Many people are wearing Outgames shirts and hands, while proudly displaying the medals they have hauled in this week. More than a hundred people have volunteered during the games and they have been thanked with long and heartfelt applause and cheers. Hardworking and Volunteer Coordinator Sara Fraser, who has answered hundreds of questions over the week and made life much smoother for many, has been thanked especially for her work with a medal in the colour of pounamu.

Convener of Operations and Logistics Hamish Allardice was also thanked profusely, as was Outgames Hub Manager Lance.

“It’s awesome to look down here and see all the medals around the place,” Outgames co-chair David Hindley has told the crowd, while urging them to come to the closing party tonight, Revolution which is at Estadio and will have door sales.

The question remains where the third AsiaPacific Outgames will be held but it’s understood a number of countries outside Australia and New Zealand, which have hosted the two games so far, are interested in being hosts.

Co-chair Virginia Hopkins Burns told the crowd everyone is family now. “Thank you all for taking a chance on us, for all of your cheerfulness, and your cheekiness and your camaraderie. You have made this event special.”

The event had 16 sports, a major human rights conference plus arts and culture events and parties and the volunteers have been thanked time and time again for their efforts.

“Thank you all for your role in the AsiaPacific Outgames, I hope you’ve achieved your roles, made special memories and good friends. And I look forward to seeing you all again at the third AsiaPacific Outgames,” Hopkins-Burns finished.

A beautiful rendition of Po Kare Kare Ana has been sung by the volunteers, ringing out across Civic Square.

Allardice made a special mention of Human Rights Conference Convenor Barry Taylor who has been widely lauded for a thought-provoking and well-run event.

A spokesman for the upcoming North American Outgames in Vancouver says his team is challenged to meet the level of quality and pride at the Wellington games. “You’ve opened your hearts, you’ve opened your city. You’ve raised the bar so high.”
 

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