As the Education Partner of the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC), Auckland University of Technology was proud to host the event on June 23rd, announcing the flagbearers for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Black Ferns Sevens Captain Sarah Hirini and two-time Olympic champion Hamish Bond have been named the New Zealand Nga Pou Hapai (flagbearers).
This will be the first time a male and female athlete (Te Pou Hapai Wahine, Te Pou Hapai Tane) have jointly carried the New Zealand flag at an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. It was also the first time the announcement has been made in New Zealand and not at an event in the Olympic Village.
Another notable first for the squad includes Laurel Hubbard, the first openly transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Games.
AUT’s partnership with involvement with the NZOC runs until the end of 2024 (with a right of renewal) and covers a range of international competitions:
The partnership cements AUT’s position as New Zealand’s top university for sports science. There are obvious brand association benefits and, as part of the agreement, AUT Millennium is now officially the ‘National Olympic Training Centre’. Student work experience, volunteering and intern opportunities are also included in the partnership.