Australian Masters Games

Masters athletes lead the way in Adelaide

5 October 2018

Masters athletes lead the way in Adelaide

Over 8,000 weekend warriors are set to inspire Australians to get active when the 17th Australian Masters Games kick off in Adelaide in October next year. 

The Australian Masters Games aims to promote the benefits of long-term health and wellbeing by providing a platform through which adult Australians can compete and socialise over an eight-day festival of sport.

Today marks one year to go until the Australian Masters Games which will run from 5-12 October 2019. Commencing in 1987, this will be the 17th edition of the Games and the seventh time Adelaide has hosted the biennial multisport festival.  

With over 50 sports on offer and entertainment throughout the week there is something for everyone. Fitness enthusiasts of all abilities are encouraged to take part as there are no qualifying standards, only that you meet the minimum age criteria, which in most sports is 30 years.

“Whether you’re looking to try something new or are a regular weekend warrior, the Games are a great excuse to celebrate your sporting accomplishments no matter the level you play. It’s not a matter of why, but why not,” General Manager of the Australian Masters Games Gary O’Donnell said.

The Australian Masters Games is the premier multisport festival on the Australian sporting schedule and participants create new friendships and create lifelong memories.

Take it from 62-year-old Deborah McGovern from Ferryden Park, South Australia who participated in 2015 with her basketball team the Simply Reds.

“We had such a good time,” McGovern said. 

“Our team was pulled together quickly, and we had never all played together before so it was such a nice surprise when we won a gold medal.

“You know two or three of us knew each other, but the others not and we just jelled. We didn’t really care whether we won or lost. We had a good time with it.”

McGovern started playing basketball in her 20s and is still playing twice a week over 30 years later.

“What keeps me going back? The fitness side of things, yes, but I think it is more the camaraderie. You know, the friendships that you develop.”

McGovern still keeps in touch with a few of her teammates from the 2015 Australian Masters Games including 63-year-old Pam Strevens who is also still playing basketball.

Strevens is a mother of three and grandmother to six and they have kept her motived to keep hitting the courts.

“I love the game and I also find it is a bit of a keep fit thing,” Strevens said.

“Earlier on when I kept on playing I thought, I’ve got two daughters one’s now 37 and the other one will be 30 next year, and I thought if I could keep playing and if they ever asked me to play for their team I’d love it.”

Although she hasn’t played with her daughters so far, she has had the opportunity to play with her son.

“I have a son who’s 25 and a few years ago he asked me to fill in for a mixed team on a Monday night and I said ‘aww you must be really desperate’ and he said, ‘yeah, we are mum!’” Strevens recounted with a laugh.

“I said, ‘yeah I’ll come and fill in for your mixed team’. I thought you know at least I am still playing and at least somebody asked me rather than me asking them. I had a good time,” Strevens said.

She joins the growing trend of older Australians who keep fit, inspiring not only their children but also their grandchildren to live healthy active lives.

“My 37-year-old she’s got two boys, ten and eight, and they both play football and then her six-year-old daughter does dancing once a week,” she said.

“When they were younger on Wednesday nights when I’d play a game at six o’clock they would come out and I’d have them there sitting on the sidelines.”

Both Deborah and Pam are planning on playing in the 17th Australian Masters Games in their home town of Adelaide in October 2019.

“We are looking forward to the Games. I’ve spoken to a few girls and we are all in,” Strevens said.

This is the seventh time Adelaide has hosted the Australian Masters Games with the most recent being in 2015, which injected over $12 million into the South Australian economy.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway said, “Adelaide is the perfect host city for the Games and we are excited to host for a seventh time. We look forward to sharing our beautiful destination with attendees, who are always impressed with our easy to navigate city, our food and wine scene, our easily accessible regions and our stunning coastline.”

Entries will open for the 17th Australian Masters Games in late November, but interested participants are encouraged to sign up to the Games e-newsletter at www.AustralianMastersGames.com and to get active on the Games social media to stay up to date with all the latest information.

The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia.



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