Organisers of the Anchor AIMS Games are reminding schools to heed Ministry of Health and DHB advice to help curb the spread of measles.
The 16th edition of the annual intermediate-aged tournament kicks off in Tauranga on September 8, with 11,500 entries from around New Zealand and the Pacific.
A large contingent of athletes will be coming from Auckland where the measles outbreak, which started in January, has had the most impact.
The number of confirmed cases in Auckland has risen to 731, with a further 144 cases have been confirmed around the rest of the country.
Anchor AIMS Games Trust chairman Henk Popping says the health, safety and wellness of the athletes was of paramount importance.
"Our tournament director Vicki Semple has been monitoring developments for the best part of two months and we sent out information to all 369 participating schools in late July with advice on what to do."
That advice, which included a letter from Toi Te Ora Public Health medical officer Dr Phil Shoemack, says that anyone with measles will be required to stay away from the Anchor AIMS Games (and other sporting events and school) for seven days from the appearance of the rash and until recovery.
Anyone who is not immunised and has contact with someone found to have measles may also be required to stay away from the tournament, the letter said, for 14 days from the last contact with the sick person.
Henk, who is also the principal of Tauranga's Otumoetai Intermediate, says it's a timely reminder after his own school had just had Tdap vaccinations for Year 7 students.
"We want to do our best to make sure athletes head home from our tournament with incredible memories and new friends and nothing else.
"We've been working closely with the health and prevention teams at both the Ministry of Health and Toi Te Ora Public Health, we will have a range of medical professionals on site throughout the week and we're also talking through the signs and symptoms of measles at our opening ceremony, so we should be as prepared as we can possibly be."
Further information from Toi Te Ora Public Health can be found here: www.nzaimsgames.co.nz/toi-te-ora-public-health/
The 2019 Anchor AIMS Games will run from September 8-13 at a range of venues across the Western Bay of Plenty.
The premier sporting event for 11, 12 and 13 year olds is run by the Anchor AIMS Games Trust, comprising of principals from the four Western Bay of Plenty intermediate schools (Tauranga, Otumoetai, Te Puke and Mount Maunganui), alongside Sport Bay of Plenty and Tauranga City Council.
2019 participation numbers: badminton 239 players, basketball 1191 players, BMX 71 riders, canoe sports 78 paddlers, cross country 826 runners, football 1232 players, Futsal 740 players, golf 71 players, gymnastics 500 athletes, hip hop 360 performers, hockey 1346 players, indoor bowls 291 players, multisport 222 athletes, netball 1512 players, rock climbing 161 climbers, rugby 1166 players, squash 100 players, swimming 374 swimmers, table tennis 198 players, tennis 141 players, water polo 33 teams, yachting 80 sailors.