19 October 2017
Over 5,000 of Australia’s fittest and most enthusiastic weekend warriors assemble in Tasmania’s North West this weekend for the 16th edition of the Australian Masters Games.
With participants ranging from 30+, the oldest competitor is Tasmanian sailor Ted Moule, who recently celebrated his 93rd birthday and will be making his Masters Games debut. Moule installed Tasmania’s first computer in 1959 and will be in action when sailing gets underway this weekend at Wynyard Yacht Club.
Participants are set for a ‘devil of a time in Tassie’ across 70 sporting and entertainment venues across ten local Council areas, including Burnie City, Circular Head, Central Coast, Devonport City, King Island, Latrobe, Launceston, Waratah and West Coast.
The Games kick off this Saturday and run until Saturday 28th October.
Competing in 47 sports and everything from archery to volleyball - with badminton, basketball and bocce and sailing, softball and swimming in between, competitors from every Australian state and territory will be in action.
In addition, participants from Canada, Denmark, India, Scotland, Singapore, Germany, Guam, Indonesia, New Zealand, United States of America, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, United Kingdom, South Africa, Malaysia, New Caledonia and Nigeria will add an international flavour to the Games.
Olympians, world champions, former NBL players and local mayors and MP’s will all be part of the action. As will thousands of participants who simply love continuing their lifetime addiction to sport. Many will be lining up in this Sunday’s Burnie Ten fun run, which is also part of the Games program.
“We concentrate a lot on elite sport in Australia, however sport is a lifelong pursuit and the Australian Masters Games is the longest running Masters Games in Australia,” Confederation of Australian Sport chief executive and president Rob Bradley said.
“Many of the participants this week took up sport in later life as well, like sailor Ted Moule who will experience his first Masters Games at 93. Many reunite with old sporting teammates to relive past glories, and some form new teams just to be part of the action.”
“When the Australian Masters Games staged its first edition in Hobart in 1987, it was the first of its kind… now of course there are many masters competitions and individual sports also stage national and world championships events… however the Australian Masters Games remains the biggest multi-sport masters Games in Australia and it’s something to be very proud of.”
The Games are renowned for its social program as much as the sport and the festivities commence today at the Wharf Precinct in Ulverstone, home of the accreditation centre, will be putting on a 'Masters on the Wharf' event which will showcase live music, entertainment and drinks in a pre-Games party.
The Games opening will be staged on Saturday, with an athlete march at 5:45pm down Victoria Parade in Devonport to the heart of the month-long Devonport Food and Wine Festival at Roundhouse Park.
Social events are scheduled every evening and are open to the local community and Games participants.
Games general manager Scott Wade said all Tasmanians were getting behind the Games, with more than 2,000 local participants taking part.
“The response from Tasmanians has been superb. More than 2,000 Tasmanian participants, with over a 1,000 of those from the north west, have entered the Games and it’s a huge increase on previous entry numbers. Add the 1,000 plus volunteers who will stage the sporting competitions and it’s a massive effort,” Wade said.
“And of course accommodation is fully booked, restaurants and cafes will be full and the north west will be buzzing…. It’s without doubt the biggest event this region has ever staged and we can’t wait to get things underway on Saturday,” Wade said.
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.
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.