New Zealand’s Governor-General, the Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, has agreed to become lead patron of the 2nd Asia Pacific Outgames.

His role is seen as being especially appropriate for the Games given Satyanand is New Zealand’s first Governor-General of Indian and Pacific ancestry. His grandparents were born in India and migrated to Fiji, while his parents were born in Fiji and migrated to New Zealand.

“This is a great honour and we look forward to working with His Excellency and with Government House in the lead-up to the Outgames,” co-chair David Hindley said.

There’s been a strong international response to the Outgames with participants from five countries having already registered in the first 14 days of online registrations opening.

While New Zealanders make up just over half of those registering, Australian participants make up over a third. Other people signing up come from Germany, Canada and the USA. Registrants so far are aged between 22 and 60, and 60 percent are male.

Running, swimming, squash and tenpin bowling are running neck-and-neck as the most popular sports. Numbers are also tracking well for the human rights conference which is a key part of the event.

The Outgames combines eight days of sports competition, a human rights conference, arts and cultural events and exhibitions, and parties. It will be held in Wellington, New Zealand from March 12-19, 2011.

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