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Vintage Sport & Leisure (VSL), a privately-owned event management and travel organisation based in Takapuna, Auckland that also owns the Golden Oldies brand, is opening an office in England to serve the UK, Europe and North American market. 
Europe is the biggest over 35-year-old sports market in the world and having a permanent base in the UK will help propel the company’s growth plans.
Peter McDermott, owner of VSL, says that in August they are hosting the Golden Oldies Rugby Festival in Cardiff, which is expected to attract over 100 teams from 25 countries, including up to 20 teams from New Zealand.
“The logistics of organising such a large event  needs to have staff on the ground. Planning for the week-long festival is well advanced, especially the opening ceremony and the Finale Dinner at Millennium Stadium.
“Over 3500 people will sit down for the Finale Dinner, the biggest sit-down meal ever held at the venue and one of the biggest ever in Wales. It certainly will be a great evening, steeped in the traditions of Welsh rugby,” he says.
The tournament will be the 21st anniversary of Golden Oldies Rugby.
McDermott, former chairman of New Zealand Cricket, sees the great potential of the European market.
“Many Europeans have very generous holidays and they also like to travel and be active. Our brands of Vintage and Golden Oldies Sport are tailor-made to tap into this potential,” he says.
VSL Travel supports the activities of the events company providing travel for teams and individuals taking part in VSL events. The travel company also manages participant tours for teams seeking games overseas and visiting New Zealand.
Recent events included Golden Oldies Hockey, Leipzig, Germany  (54 teams, 650 people); Golden Oldies Rugby, Mar del Plata, Argentina (124 team, 2,800 people); Golden Oldies Cricket, Cape Town, South Africa (52 teams, 600 people) and Golden Oldies Netball, San Diego, United States (60 teams, 620 people).
“As well as the rugby in Cardiff, we have hockey in Cape Town in April 2017 and cricket in Barbados on May 2017, while closer to home there’s golf in Hunter Valley in September and football in Adelaide in October,” says McDermott.
Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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