By Duncan Mackay

Glasgow 2014 head of sport Greg Warnecke is joining the 2017 World Masters Games in Auckland ©2017 World Masters GamesGreg Warnecke, head of sport at Glasgow 2014, is to join the 2017 World Masters Games in Auckland, it was announced today. 

The Australian will be the general manager, sports and venues at the event, which is open to sportsmen and women of all abilities, normally above the age of 35, and claims to be the biggest Games in the world. 

Warnecke had worked at Glasgow 2014 for five years and helped deliver what is widely considered to be the best Commonwealth Games in history. 

"Staging a multi-sport event of this size is a major undertaking and we were looking for a seasoned professional to take the helm," said Jennah Wootten, the 2017 World Master Games chief executive.

"With 25,000 athletes expected to compete in 28 sports and 45 disciplines over 10 days of competition, the World Masters Games is the biggest event of its kind in the world.

"Greg will work with our 28 sports partners to bring together one united event.

"He brings to the team outstanding and extremely relevant experience and we couldn't be more pleased to have him on board."

The complexities of the Games, first held in Toronto in 1985 and which last took place in Turin last year, include not only the number of sports but also the number of venues, the different age categories and the inclusion of eight Para-sports, Wootten claimed.

"Athlete experience is paramount when it comes to staging a successful and memorable event," she said.

"Our goal is to create our own version of the 'best Games ever' so that competitors travelling to New Zealand feel the trip was worth every cent. Getting the sports programme right is the central ingredient."

Greg Warnecke oversaw a highly successful sports programme at Glasgow 2014 ©Getty ImagesGreg Warnecke oversaw a highly successful sports programme at Glasgow 2014
©Getty Images

Warnecke is currently completing his role in Glasgow and is due to join World Masters Games 2017 on October 13.

"It has been an unbelievable experience working on the Commonwealth Games and my ambition was always to move from here to another great sports event," said Warnecke, who also worked on the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. 

"World Masters Games 2017 will be bigger than the Commonwealth Games in both athlete numbers and venues and integrating them is at the very heart of the challenge of multi-sport events.

"I've enjoyed living in Scotland but equally look forward to working in Auckland, New Zealand, where I know the sporting culture, passion and energy is second to none."

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