wrfu.co.nz and James Mortimer 17.Dec.2013Getty Images
For the third year in a row, Museum Art Hotel owner Chris Parkin is putting $25,000 towards the competition, while Sevens Wellington has contributed a further $25,000 cash prize that will go to the winner of a brand new category.
The new $25,000 category is aimed at groups of 12 or more people, who must be dressed up as something relative to one of the 16 nations participating in the tournament on February 7 and 8.
“That could be anything from a group of snails representing France, to a herd of moose symbolising Canada,” Sevens Wellington general manager Marty Donoghue said.
Mr Donoghue said the spirit behind Sevens Wellington was unparalleled across the rest of the HSBC Sevens World Series, and the key to that had been the lengths fans went to in creating mind-blowing costumes.
“Building on this creative flair, we want fans to now get in behind the different countries. As we start preparing for sevens to be part of the 2016 Olympics, it is important that we support the various countries that come to Wellington.
“This extra $25,000 prize is significant and should stimulate our inner creativity,” he said.
Each group and its members must upload a photo of their team in costume before midday on Friday February 7, which will then be judged online.
This stand-alone category is open to all ages, providing they hold a Sevens Wellington ticket.
The Costume Catwalk will take place on the stadium concourse during the tournament from 1pm to 2.30pm. The winners will be announced on-field on Saturday night.
Funding the best male and female categories, along with best group, best couple, judges’ choice and overall supreme winner, Museum Art Hotel owner Chris Parkin said he had been blown away by the effort and creative talent people had put into their costumes over the past two years.
“The competition continues to be a huge success and I’m looking forward to bringing it back for the fans again. After all, it’s the fans who have transformed this rugby tournament into an international extravaganza,” he said.
Mr Parkin said this year the judges would be looking for originality of concept and design.
“They’ll be looking for a lot of hard work and skill that is put into creating something innovative and outstanding – so we are encouraging people to start putting their thinking caps on to ensure they’re in the running,” he said.
Contestants have the opportunity to register for the Museum Art Hotel Costume Catwalk from now until the start of the tournament by visiting www.sevens.co.nz.
Museum Art Hotel Costume Catwalk categories and prize money available for 2014 (NZD):
Supreme winner: $10,000
Best male: $2000
Best female: $2000
Best group: $5000, runner-up $2000
Best couple: $2000
Judges choice: $2000
Sevens Wellington additional category for 2014
Best group (12+ people): $25,000