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Fringe Games - Christchurch, New Zealand
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Fringe Games?
  2. When will international Fringe Games be held?
  3. Why have a Fringe Games?
  4. What are the Fundamental Principles of the Fringe Games?
  5. What is the meaning of the Fringe Games symbol?
  6. How are existing sporting organizations likely to react to these Games?
  7. Why will people want to compete at these Games?
  8. How will competitors be selected for these first Games?
  9. Is it possible to receive financial assistance to attend the Games?
  10. How big will the Fringe Games be?
  11. When can I buy tickets to attend the Games?
  12. Where can I stay?
  13. What else will be happening in Christchurch at the time of the Games?
  14. What Fringe Games Business opportunities are there?
  15. What Merchandise is available?
  16. Will there be National Fringe Games?
  17. Will there be a Parafringe Games?
  18. Will there be a Winter Fringe Games?
  19. Why are the first Fringe Games being hosted by New Zealand?
  20. Why has Christchurch been chosen for the first Fringe Games?
  21. Who is behind the Fringe Games?
  22. Rights over the Fringe Games
  23. Where can I get more information?


1. What is the Fringe Games?

Top
The Fringe Games is an international festival of new and experimental sports. The first Fringe Games will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand from the 8th to the 11th of September 2000. It will offer an exciting line-up of new athletic and cycling events as well as some innovative ways of performing existing ones. It will not only feature new ways of running, jumping and throwing, but also completely new sports created for the unique environment of the athletic track. Some events will be freestyle and a few will be mixed, in line with the aim of opening up new possibilities in sporting competition. As well, there will be exhibitions of lesser known sports from around the world and demonstrations of events that may be included at future games. New events in skateboarding and inline skating will be included as demonstration events and these will be announced in 2000. An open convention will be held after the games to consider new events.


2. When will international Fringe Games be held?

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The Fringe Games can take place at any time as a celebration of athletic and other sporting events which are fringe to conventional sports, but it is likely that they will be staged around the time of major international sporting events in order to highlight other possibilities in sport, just as fringe arts festivals highlight alternative movements in the arts. They will most likely be held in countries that are fringe to the country hosting the conventional sporting fixture. Other Fringe Games could be held around the time of the World Championships in Athletics in Canada in 2001 and the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002. The fringe country for 2001 will most likely be the U.S.A., and the fringe countries in contention for 2002 are Ireland, France, Denmark, Norway and Holland.


3. Why have a Fringe Games?

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The Fringe Games is based on the belief that the creation of the new in sport is as important as the celebration of the old. That actively experimenting with sport and staging new events challenges human ingenuity and reinvigorates the human spirit. The idea behind the Games is to provide a dynamic way of promoting and celebrating these new possibilities.

The Fringe Games also aims to satisfy the hunger for new and exciting athletic events. People are going to be able to watch formation running, the 100m slalom and mechanized running for the first time, plus a host of other dynamic sports that have never been staged on an athletic track before.

By staging freestyle events, the Fringe Games will enable athletes to reach new levels of skill and performance which have not been possible in international competition until now. Many people don't realize that athletes are constrained by traditional rules of limitation and that there are ways of jumping higher, throwing the shot further or cycling faster. These games will allow them to celebrate their true potential by removing those constraints.

There is great value in celebrating tradition and long may it continue. But that shouldn't stop us from, for example, creating new traditions or changing existing ones. With the high jump as a freestyle event we will find out just how high we really can jump and, in the process, discover a whole range of new techniques that will be fascinating to watch and exciting to celebrate through competition.

Pairs skating is an exciting sport, but does it necessarily have to be limited to just two skaters? Why not three or five? Wouldn't that be more exciting, more complex, more rewarding and far more spectacular? And why is it always a man and a woman? Why not two men or two women? Why not two men and two women? International swimming competitions recognize at least four ways of swimming, while on the track we only compete in one basic way of running. But there are other ways to run including lateral running, reverse running, and inverted running. And, when you are running forward, you can compete in such new events as formation running, pattern running, slalom running and mechanically assisted running.

We don't currently have freestyle events in international competitions which can encourage the development of interesting new ways to jump, run or throw. The possibilities and permutations are endless and it seems restrictive not to celebrate at least some of the more exciting ones. Freestyle events will also encourage a greater concentration on the development of technique, rather than the current obsession with the development of physique.

We live in a technological age and we celebrate that technology in some sport. In international competition we still compete with bows and arrows, but we use very advanced pistols and rifles too. We use the latest in high-tech running shoes on the track, but we don't allow flippers in the pool. We have races in highly engineered sailing boats and rowing boats. We use advanced technology in skis, snow boards and ice skates. What other methods can we use to propel ourselves using our own muscles and how can we compete using those methods? By having freestyle events in mechanical running for example, athletic competition can encourage the development of new technology and new ways of using our bodies.

The Fringe Games will push at the bounds of sport and become a showcase of the possible and the very new. It will be a celebration of the future in sport and a celebration of the way in which we will increasingly experiment and play with everything we do as a means of creating new possibilities.


4. What are the Fundamental Principles of the Fringe Games?

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The aim of the Fringe Games is to encourage the inventive society, which celebrates the creation of new possibilities in sport in the spirit of competition, fair play and cooperation.

The Fringe Games will encourage departure from sporting traditions so as to foster the exploration of new ways of playing and the discovery of new sports to be played. Eligibility for a sport's inclusion in the Games will be based on it being new, or not widely practiced.

The Fringe Games are designed to encourage innovation in sport and cannot therefore, continue to feature all the same events every time. The Games organizers will canvas widely for new ideas to ensure a constantly evolving program.

Athletes will come to the Fringe Games not only to compete and set new records, but to join with others to discover new ways of competing. The principle is not only to compete, but to continually look for new ways of competing.

The Fringe Games will promote the exhibition of new and scarcely known sports as a way of celebrating our differences and in order to reach new understandings. The aim of the Fringe Games movement will bring these sports to international public attention by celebrating their competition in one place and at one time, in the spirit of discovery and cooperation.


5. What is the meaning of the Fringe Games Symbol?

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The Fringe Games symbol depicts a triumphant athlete breaking through the tape and pushing apart the boundaries of sport. The ring of sport has now been broken and expanded to become an oval bordered by six colored squares and six streams which widen as they converge towards it. The two yellow squares represent new ideas in sport. The red squares stand for the joy and passion of competition, while green symbolizes new growth. The six converging streams represent the six regions of the world whose people will gather together to participate in the Games. They are: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and South America.


6. How are existing sporting organizations likely to react to these Games?

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Some say that vested interests have monopolized sports and become autocratic about what events may be run and how competition may be organized and therefore will not tolerate new ideas. But in reality, many sports have simply had to limit the number of events they can offer in order to keep things manageable and within a time-frame that will fit into a track and field schedule. There are just too many possible variations and sports bodies are generally quite happy for others to experiment with sports events, because it keeps up interest in the main events which they control. Then, if any of the fringe events turn out to be popular and become established over time, they can be included in the main programme.


7. Why will people want to compete at these Games?

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As this is unlikely to be an event sanctioned by the International Amateur Athletic Federation, even established athletes who are not competing at world or Olympics level may not be allowed to attend by their associations. This gives other sporting men and women a greater chance of achieving success in new events at an international level. People will want to compete in Christchurch in 2000 because they will have the chance of winning medals and setting records in exciting new events watched by a large international TV audience. The Games will provide them with new opportunities to test their skills but they will also come for the comradeship, the friendliness of New Zealanders and to travel in the South Island's scenic wonderland.


8. How will competitors be selected for these first Games?

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Qualifying times will be set for most events by May 2000 . Procedures for gaining eligibility to compete in the inaugural Fringe Games will be announced shortly. In the meantime athletes can register their interest below.


9. Is it possible to receive financial assistance to attend the Games?

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Provision has been made for some competitors to receive full or partial assistance for travel to and from NZ and for accommodation during the Games. You can register your interest in receiving assistance on the form below. The criteria for eligibility will be posted soon.

Register interest here


10. How big will the Fringe Games be?

Top
Actual number of athletes attending has yet to be determined. Negotiations currently under way with broadcasters suggest a worldwide television audience of possibly a billion.


11. When can I buy tickets to attend the Games?

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Tickets will be available in 2000 and will be sold under a fair distribution system.


12. Where can I stay?

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An authorized travel agent will be appointed shortly to handle travel, accommodation and ticketing. Your own travel agent will also be able to assist you. Visitors will be able to choose accommodation ranging from international hotels to home-stays and camping grounds.


13. What else will be happening in Christchurch at the time of the Games?

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It is expected that a significant number of cultural and sporting organizations will take advantage of the influx of athletes, supporters and spectators to stage a number of exciting and unusual events in keeping with the spirit of the Fringe Games.


14. What Fringe Games Business opportunities are there?

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As with any large sporting event, especially one that offers something new and exciting, there are numerous opportunities available through Fringe Games Promotions Ltd.


15. What Merchandise is available?

Top
The first items bearing the Fringe Games symbol will be T-Shirts and caps. Negotiations to manufacture these and other items of merchandise are currently under way and their availability will be announced soon.


16. Will there be national Fringe Games?

Top
It seems likely that national competitions will emerge in many countries and become an integral part of selecting athletes for International Games.


17. Will there be a Parafringe Games?

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This has yet to be decided but if there is sufficient interest it would be staged at the same Christchurch venue in October 2000 around the same time as the Paralympic Games.


18. Will there be a Winter Fringe Games?

Top
This seems very likely, and some demonstration events are planned for the Mount Hutt Ski field, 1.5 hours from Christchurch following the Fringe Games. The 2002 Winter Games will be held in Salt Lake City, USA and the Fringe Games are likely to go to a city in Canada.


19. Why are the first Fringe Games being hosted by New Zealand?

Top
It is natural that the Fringe Games would have come out of New Zealand, a nation known for its love of sport, its sense of adventure and its do-it-yourself inventiveness. It was New Zealanders who recently developed Bungy jumping into a world-wide phenomenon, a New Zealander who invented the jet boat motor which led to the worldwide sport of jet boat racing. It is New Zealand that currently holds the America's Cup in yachting thanks to innovative design, and a New Zealander who first climbed Mount Everest, through sheer talent, grit and determination. No matter what sport they follow, New Zealanders are united in their belief that their nation shares a collective identity as a country of great sporting achievement, independence and innovation. The spirit of these games will be the spirit of New Zealand.


20. Why has Christchurch been chosen for the first Fringe Games?

Top
Not only is Christchurch a very beautiful city with one of the best small sports complexes in the world, it is also known as a city of innovation and a center of technology. This, and its sense of fun, make it the ideal venue for the first Fringe Games at the beginning of the Millennium, when athletes from all over the world will gather to celebrate the creation of new possibilities in sport.


21. Who is behind the Fringe Games?

Top
The Fringe Games is the brain-child of international best-selling New Zealand author, Burton Silver, and will be promoted by Fringe Games Promotions Ltd which has brought together a team of sports advisors, event managers and international investors who will work with the Fringe Games Organizing Committee to make these innovative games a reality. Fringe Games Promotions Ltd has engaged Niu Pacific Ltd to manage public relations and media coordination, and Sports Impact Ltd to carry out event management.

Niu Pacific Ltd   Tel: 64 4 472 2239, Fax: 64 4 473 3414
Email: niu@fringegames.org.
Sports Impact Ltd   Tel: 64 4 479 7974, Fax: 64 4 479 7974
Email: arthur@fringegames.org.
Burton Silver   Tel: 64 4 388 9082, Fax: 64 4 388 3759
Email: burton@fringegames.org.


22. Rights over the Fringe Games

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The Fringe Games are the exclusive property of Fringe Games Promotions Ltd, which owns all rights relating to their organization, exploitation and broadcast. Any post tax profits derived from the celebration of the Fringe Games will be put back into the development of the Fringe Games movement and experimental sport.


23. Where can I get more information?

Top
For information on:

Media and Broadcast Rights: media@fringegames.org
Sponsorship and Business opportunities: marketing@fringegames.org
Other enquiries: info@fringegames.org

To contact the Fringe Games Organizing Committee:
Tel: 64 4 479 5563
Fax: 64 4 479 7974
Email: fgoc@fringegames.org

Postal Address:
Fringe Games Organizing Committee
P.O. Box 13063
Wellington 6001
New Zealand

Delivery Address:
Fringe Games Organizing Committee
50 Delhi Crescent
Johnsonville
Wellington
New Zealand


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 Updated 29 January 1999
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