Australian Masters Games

Bocce competition rolls to a close

Kirralee Thomas - 4 October 2015

Bocce competition rolls to a close

Teams from all over Australia came to Adelaide to play in the bocce competition at the Australian Masters Games.

The competition was held over two days, with mixed doubles held at Victoria Square on Saturday, before a traditional four-a-side competition at Fogolar Furlan on Sunday.

The mixed doubles had no rules and therefore was just a bit of fun, however the traditional competition was more serious.

Many of the bocce participants having been competing in the sport for years, including Gina Beltrime and Miranda Sella-Gianot.

Both women were born in Italy but migrated to Australia in 1949 and 1953 respectively, and have lived in Adelaide ever since.

Beltrime, 83, and Sella-Gianot, who was the oldest Masters Games bocce competitor at 85, started playing bocce in 1973.               

Two years later, the two women started the Women’s Bocce Federation.

“The field was opening here and we started to play because we followed the men. If they can do it, women can do it!” said Beltrime.

The two women watched other clubs and invited those women bocce players into the federation, and had 52 members by 1977.

Both women are still a big part of the federation, as Beltrime is the president and Sella-Gianot is the secretary and treasurer.

Along with the federation, the two women are also heavily involved in South Australian bocce, having represented the State for 42 years.

They travel once a year for the bocce Nationals, and have played all around the country, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Despite already representing South Australia for over four decades, they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“We don’t do much anymore, but we can’t leave the game,” said Sella-Gianot.

While this is only the second time they have participated in the Masters Games, they said they were a great experience.

“We enjoy ourselves, we have a good time, a good day all together” said Beltrime.

The 15th Australian Masters Games are underway in Adelaide, October 3-10, featuring more than 10,000 participants from across Australia and around the world.

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

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