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Behind the New Zealand Team for their greatest Commonwealth Games

As the reality of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games comes to a close – over 5,000 elite athletes from 72 nations and patriotic crowds of 1.3million return home, we welcomed home the New Zealand Team from a momentous Games. 13 of our 19 sports won medals, and for the first time there were more women than men competing. Our contribution to getting the team safely to Birmingham is through COVID-19 PCR saliva testing solutions.

The closing ceremony to New Zealand’s most successful Commonwealth Games. Photo/ Getty Images

As COVID-19 group testing specialists, we’ve been an official supplier of the New Zealand Team since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games conducting over 1300 tests. In the lead up to Birmingham, we conducted over 300 tests from our nationwide sites.

As you can imagine, the testing requirements of our diverse Commonwealth Games team were demanding. Ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, we designed testing solutions with team management to work seamlessly with departure schedules and team logistics. The New Zealand Olympic Committee required a test 10-14 days before departure, and Birmingham required a second test 72 hours before arriving into the Athlete’s Village.

DJ Forbes, Former New Zealand Rugby Sevens team captain and NZOC athlete engagement manager, testing at the Rako Science Auckland International Airport kiosk prior to leaving for Birmingham.

Partnering with us is relatively easy. Athletes and support staff receive booking codes allowing them the freedom to book on our website at any time, day and location. Clients also have the power to reschedule for unplanned circumstances at no charge through their original confirmation email.

Congratulations to Amanda Landers-Murphy for winning gold in the women’s squash doubles.

Our nationwide sites cater to large groups testing at once. The entire New Zealand Rugby Sevens cohort tested in our Tauranga site, with eight testing booths, in just under an hour. The Women's T20 Cricket team were processed in an hour from a slightly smaller Christchurch site holding six testing booths.

For larger teams like the New Zealand netball team, our team went to their hotel and processed the entire team and support staff in under two hours.

Brahm Richards (wrestler) testing at Rako Science’s Browns Bay collection site.

Groups are processed quickly through a combination of technology and our friendly Rako team. Our custom software and passport scanners enable a quick verification process, while our highly trained staff ensure a smooth testing environment.

Congratulations again to each member of the New Zealand Team, athletes and support staff alike, for representing Aotearoa proudly. Good luck for the Paris 2024 Olympic Summer Games!

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