by Anneliese Abela - 9 October 2015
John Osterman has been playing billiards and snooker since 1985, and at this year’s Australian Masters Games, he is playing against participants he met in Adelaide 16 years ago.
The 69-year-old from Karalee is President of the Queensland Billiards and Snooker Association, and first experienced the Masters Games in 1999.
“I like coming to them and I’ve been to all the Adelaide Games. I keep in touch with people I’ve played with before,” John said.
In today’s snooker competition John played against Roger Davey who, not only won silver in cue sports, but is also this year’s sports convenor.
“I first met Roger at the Games in 1999,” John said.
“I like it because you make good friends and keep in touch with people. I just think the social side here is great.”
Before the snooker competitions began on Wednesday, participants played against each other at billiards, in which John won a bronze medal.
“I’m more of a billiards player than a snooker player,” he said.
“It’s a challenging game – I’ve played a lot of golf, and this is very similar to golf because it’s one of the only sports where the ball is stationary when you strike it. So there’s a lot of skill and a lot of table management.”
As well as cue sports, John has participated in previous Masters Games in indoor rowing and cycling, and says he loves how the Games bring together people from all across the country.
“I remember a netball team that was made up of women from all different states. The sport makes sure you have something to do for people who come, that’s what’s good about it,” he said.
John is hoping cue sports is included in the Masters Games for many years to come, as it is such a social and skilful sport. There are many talented players like fellow participant Ian Gilbee, who won gold in the over 60s billiards competition on Tuesday.
“There’s guys here with skills, like Ian, but if people don’t embrace what he knows and learn some skills from him, it’ll all be gone,” John said.
“That’s why the Masters are good because they promote the game, and give us a place to all enjoy it together.”
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.
The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia.
We're heading west! The next Australian Masters Games will take place in Perth in 2021.
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