1 October 2015
With just two days to go, the city of Adelaide is bursting at the seams with approximately 10,000 people ready and able for the 15th Australian Masters Games.
Regarded as one of the premier and largest mass-participation events on the Australian sporting landscape, the Games aim to promote the benefits of long-term health and wellbeing by providing a platform through which adult Australians can compete, socialise and enjoy sport.
The focus is on participation and enjoyment, with a friendly atmosphere following the Games wherever they go. But with almost 20,000 medals up for grabs across 49 sports, it’s sure to be on for young and old once participants cross the white line in competition.
The oldest competitor at this year’s Australian Masters Games is avid tennis player Henry Young. The 92-year-old South Australian competed previously in 2009 and is back again with a few more years’ worth of experience under his belt.
In most sports, the minimum age for participation is 30 years. However the Games adopt the rules of each individual sport, and by the letter of the law, those 18 years and older can compete in masters swimming. It means Adelaide can welcome 19-year-old swimmer Elizabeth Canning of New South Wales, who not only gets the chance to go for gold, but also holds the illustrious title of youngest participant at the 15th Australian Masters Games.
The Games will have a certain international flavour in 2015, with more than 250 participants making their way to Adelaide from 20 countries across the globe. Whether it’s Canada, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom or the United States to name a few, all will be welcomed with open arms.
Of Australian participants, 55% come from outside South Australia. Victoria contributes the second largest overall number of entrants, followed by New South Wales.
If you’re looking for wealth of numbers though, then go no further than softball; the Games’ single biggest sport for participation has pulled in more than 850 participants. Dragon boat is next up with over 650, and netball close behind with approximately 620.
Basketball lays claim to the three oldest teams at the Games. The Myths and Legends 75+ average age rounds out to a spritely 80 years old, and a combined total age of 800.49 years. Their younger brigade, the Myths and Legends 70+, are next in line at an average age of 75, whilst women’s team TERRITORY combine for an average age of 67.
Overall, the men will only slightly outnumber the women at this year’s Australian Masters Games, with participation numbers seeing a 54% male and 46% female split.
In a testament to the Australian Masters Games and every host city past and present, Adelaide will also welcome back seven participants who have attended every event since the first edition in Hobart in 1987.
Of this sensational seven, five keep coming back year in year out for basketball, with 65-year-old Craig Trewartha (SA), 67-year-old Chris Sargent (NT), 69-year-old Ev Ottley (NT) and 75 year old Frank Jones (Vic) all returning to sink some hoops.
These are just a few of the many facts and figures from the 15th Australian Masters Games.
The 15th Australian Masters Games will be held in Adelaide, October 3-10, featuring more than 10,000 participants from across Australia and around the world.
For further information regarding the Australian Masters Games, please visit www.AustralianMastersGames.com.
2019 marks Carol Redford's 30th anniversary as an Australian Masters Games volunteer. She's volunteered in every Games that have taken place in Adelaide and is back again for the seventh time.
For Australian Masters Games participant Kerryn Conabere 2019 marks her 50th consecutive year of playing netball and her sixth straight Australian Masters Games. One of her highlights of all her years on the court, is playing on the same team as all four of her daughters.
Gold entries close on Wednesday 1 May. That's right, Gold entries close this week. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!