Athletes to be taken on journey back in time during 2022 Tatiara SA Masters Games

MASTERS GAMES: Kingsley Green said the committee conducted their first meeting on February 9, with aim to reignite the passion behind the games.
MASTERS GAMES: Kingsley Green said the committee conducted their first meeting on February 9, with aim to reignite the passion behind the games.

The 2020 Tatiara SA Masters Games was supposed to be massive festival of sport for the district, however, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the games.

Despite the disappointment, the Tatiara was handed the rights to host the 2022 edition of the games, and with the starting line in sight, plenty of work is being done to make it a sporting event to remember.

Tatiara District Council's director of corporate and community services Kingsley Green said the committee conducted their first meeting on February 9, with aim to reignite the passion behind the games.

While a mountain of work was put in to create a memorable 2020 games, the hard work wasn't for nothing.

Mr Green said the committee is looking to market it as a "back to the future" type games, taking people on an emotional journey back in time to compete in 2020.

Around $60,000-$70,000 was spent on merchandise in anticipation for last year's games, with '2020' plastered on everything.

"Most of the bags, medals and lanyards are all ready here - it would be a pity if we didn't maximise that 'back to the future' opportunity. We can't go back in time, but we can with this," Mr Green said.

Although there is still just over a year until the games come to the district, February's committee meeting allowed members to start thinking about the event.

"At our first meeting, we tried to work out the structure of the committee and learn from some of the experiences we had last year," Mr Green said.

He also stated that the committee will look to capitalise on the learning experiences and the success of the 2021 Copper Coast SA Masters Games in April.

"We are going to speak with their key officer and make sure that we can keep close engagement and communication so we can establish this continuity in terms of knowledge and experience," Mr Green said.

While the country is still living in a world affected by COVID-19, it would be stupid to assume that everything will be back to normal in 2022.

Mr Green said despite there being a small possibility that there could be some restrictions, he believes the games shouldn't be affected.

"Most of the sporting facilities here have been functioning in a COVID-safe way for a while, so I don't think we will have any problems with social distancing when it comes to the sports," he said.

"Depending on the environment we face, we may need to adjust our opening and closing ceremonies to accommodate social distancing."

Bringing a massive sporting event to the district will potentially provide a huge economic boost to region, and after a year which was tough for many, it would be a welcomed financial boost for the region.

"While it is all about sport, we also want to use it as something that will help drive the economy - we want to make sure that local businesses and facilities here are maximised over the games," Mr Green said.

"Giving that we are not starting from ground zero this time, we can pretty much start at 50 per cent and then fine tune the remaining 50 per cent to ensure that we can deliver a great games."

Mr Green explained that marketing for the games has started, while the committee will start contacting local sporting groups over the coming weeks.