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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 1, 1937)


january of next year is going to be a most important month in the history of New Zealand sport for in that month this Dominion will send to Australia one of the biggest sports teams ever to leave these shores.

The British Empire Games—second only in athletic importance to the Olympic Games—will be held in Sydney as part of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the State of New South Wales, and a team in excess of sixty members is expected to represent New Zealand.

Embracing practically every branch of sporting activity, the Empire Games were revived in 1930 when they were allotted to Hamilton (Canada). New Zealand was represented at that gathering by a moderately-sized team and had the distinction of securing two Empire titles. Billy Savidan, the smiling Aucklander, won the six-mile track title in record time, and Stan Lay captured the javelin throwing crown. Remarkable athletes both of them!

Savidan emerged from retirement this season to win the New Zealand three-mile track title for the seventh time, and put up a wonderful performance to register 14 min. 40 sec. And, not to be outdone, Lay came back after an absence from the competitive side of sport to regain his N.Z. javelin title. There is every reason to expect both these men—title-holders in 1930—to carry New Zealand's colours to victory at the Empire Games of 1938.

Swimmers, boxers, track and field men and women, wrestlers, bowlers, rowers and cyclists in New Zealand at the present time have one big incentive to reach their best early next season. The goal is Sydney and the Empire Games!

Whereas in past international competitions our representatives have had the disadvantage of having had to travel half-way round the globe, from one summer to another, they will for a change have the advantage on athletes coming from the Northern Hemisphere. New Zealand athletes— and the term embraces all the branches of sport—will be able to train right up to the time of embarking for Australia and with only a short steamer journey, sufficient to freshen up the most jaded performer, will step ashore at Sydney in condition to do their best at a moment's notice.