28 October 2017
It is impressive for anyone to take up a sport in their later years and compete as a Masters athlete, but starting out as a gymnast at the age of 60 is a remarkable achievement by Alexander Beernink.
The recently turned 73-year-old from Murray Town in South Australia competed in gymnastics on the final day of the 16th Australian Masters Games in Burnie during a week away with his partner.
“I started at the age of 60,” Beernink said without much fuss.
“I will have to see how we go today, I’ve only done the rings so far and I think I’m happy with how I did there.
“Well it’s a long story why I took up gymnastics, my father was a gymnast and he took me to his club with about 500 members in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and I wasn’t even three years old.
“I was there for a month and that is it – I’ve always been interested and all of a sudden at 60 I decided if I don’t do something about it now it will be too late.”
It was Beernink’s seventh Australian Masters Games appearance in a row and he is looking forward to signing up for many more competitions as he continues to work on his strength back home.
“I love it yeah,” he continued.
“No, I don’t have a club, I went to one for a year and a half in South Australia, but now I am training at home for the last seven and a half years.
“This is my 14th competition overall and the Masters is a great thing, I really enjoy it.
“The camaraderie and meeting people I’ve met before in competitions and new ones that come along.”
Thank you to the 5,000 plus participants, over 1,000 volunteers, countless supporters and many sponsors who came out and made the 16th Australian Masters Games such a success. There was a buzz across Tasmania's North West throughout the entire week.
More than 10,000 athletes and spectators will come together in Adelaide in 2019 for the 17th Australian Masters Games.
Tasmania’s North West has put on a show during eight days of memorable Australian Masters Games action, according to Games general manager Scott Wade.