Zespri AIMS Games have expanded from 750 to almost 13,000 competitors since the inception of the Games in Tauranga Moana, in 2004. Many additions and changes have been made to the Zespri AIMS Games programme over the years, with 23 sporting codes being added to the original four. 

New sporting code submissions are evaluated on an annual basis, by the AIMS Games Trust.  Sports that are already part of the Games are also annually reviewed, to determine whether they should be retained as a part of the programme.

2026 New Sporting Code Submissions

Proposals should be submitted electronically to -

Kelly Schischka, Tournament Director 

By 5pm, Monday 3rd March 2025

Enquiries can be directed to Kelly at the email address above.

New sporting code submissions are evaluated against the following criteria:

Compulsory criteria

  • Proposed sporting code will provide a suitably qualified, designated Code Coordinator.

  • Eligibility for athletes to compete in the sporting code aligns with Zespri AIMS Games eligibility criteria.

  • There is a suitable and available venue to host the proposed sporting code.

  • The new sporting code submission has been endorsed by the code's regional and/or national sporting body.

  • Athletes with disabilities are able to participate in the proposed sporting code.

  • Proposed sporting code is financially sustainable.

Weighted criteria

  • Proposed sporting code would enhance the value and appeal of the Zespri AIMS Games.

  • Current participation levels of Year 7 and 8 students in New Zealand in the proposed sporting code.

  • Anticipated participation numbers in the Zespri AIMS Games.

  • Existence of current school events for the proposed sporting code throughout New Zealand.

  • Proposed event operational and logistical requirements meet Zespri AIMS Games guidelines.

  • Development pathways for the proposed sporting code.

  • Proposed sporting code would benefit the Zespri AIMS Games economically (e.g., through sponsorship and/or national/international relationships).

  • Proposed sporting code would have a positive social impact on the Zespri AIMS Games.

  • Overall impression of submission.

New sporting code submissions for the 2026 Zespri AIMS Games must be sent to the Tournament Director by Monday 3rd March 2025 and include the following information:

  1. Eligibility to compete (meet the Zespri AIMS Games registration guidelines).

  2. Category/Division structure – Boys/Girls/Open/Year Group/Age etc.

  3. Athletes with Disabilities inclusion.

  4. Estimated numbers attending (current 11 to 13 years age group participation numbers in New Zealand).

  5. Entry Criteria/Grades to register, if applicable (e.g., golf under a 32 handicap).

  6. Promotion/public support for the proposed sporting code at the event.

  7. Current event structure in regions throughout New Zealand.

  8. Regional development systems and opportunities/pathways.

  9. Regional/National Sporting Organisation backing/support/sanction (if the submission is not from the proposed sporting code's national body, a letter of support from the national body is required).

  10. Event information (which would be included in the registration/tournament information on our website). Refer to the current 27 code specific pages posted on our website as a guideline.

  11. Detail Risk Management System/safety procedures/player welfare.

  12. Estimated budget to run the event (this covers all costs e.g., personnel payment, officials, equipment hire, venue hire, travel costs etc.).

  13. Potential sponsor/s.

  14. Dates/Duration of the event.

  15. Event format/Programme.

  16. Code specific rules.

  17. Venue (suitable venue and the venue requirements).

  18. Equipment required (must be organised by the code and any costs specified and included in the code budget).

  19. Officials/referees etc. required and availability to officiate at the event (if applicable detail development opportunities for officials / referees etc.).

  20. How the proposed sport would enhance the Zespri AIMS Games tournament.

  21. National/International contacts/relationships and anticipated overseas registration.

  22. Provide a suitably qualified and designated code coordinator to work with the Zespri AIMS Games Tournament Director (e.g. to oversee the sporting code pre, during and post event of the tournament year, attend code coordinator planning meetings, submit and manage a detailed code budget, support Zespri AIMS Games initiatives and their partners/sponsors, produce and manage robust code health and safety systems, supply a comprehensive code report at the conclusion of the event, support Zespri AIMS Games regulations, meet deadlines, work alongside website, draws, results, registration, medical and media contractors etc.)