Heath stands tall at the Pan Pacs basketball

The men’s 35+ basketball gold medal match at the Pan Pacific Masters Games was a boomer for young local referee Heath Lingley.

Townsville side MBC went down 46-31 against a scratch team of former Australian representatives who dub themselves the Has Beens.

And while the court was full of former professional players such as Sam McKinnon, David Andersen, Kelvin Robertson and Mark Worthington, Heath held his own.

UK duo making the most of their Aussie adventure

They hail from Manchester in the UK, complete with the accent, a wicked sense of humour and love for eating, drinking and merriment.

Peter and Michael are in Australia because they were looking for somewhere to do some boxing as they don’t do a masters level comp in the UK. Pan Pacs came up in their search,  and here they are with Michael coaching ringside and Pete donning the gloves to duke it out in the boxing event.

But they wanted to play some more sport while they’re here.

Sydneysider heading north to tick volunteering at Pan Pacs off her ‘to do’ list

At long last Sydney’s Margot Paterson can tick volunteer at the Pan Pacific Masters Games (PPMG) off her ‘to do’ list now she’s arrived on the Gold Coast to help at the 10-day sporting extravaganza. Recently made redundant from her job as an executive assistant, Margot has thrown herself into a variety of volunteer roles including reading exams for Year 12 students, helping in the Children’s Hospital Family Room and volunteering on New Year’s Eve to support Sydney’s city celebrations. “I had been on the Pan Pacs list for several years and had not been able to volunteer because of my work and COVID.”

Ageing Stockmen mosey into town for the PPMG rugby league competition

They come from Western Queensland.

From Miles and Chinchilla, Roma and Charleville, Cunnamulla and beyond.

They’re the ‘Ageing Stockmen’ and they’ve moseyed on into town to play rugby league in their 12th Pan Pacific Masters Games (PPMG).

The 24 strong team of players enter the social division of the competition but impose strict prerequisites before anyone gets to play.

Southport Lawn Bowls Club running jack high after turning back the pokies tide.

Stepping into the Southport Bowls Club, something just feels wrong.

ABBA sings something about a 17-year-old dancing queen above the prattle of bowlers reliving ends won and lost by the kiss of the jack while the frothies flow freely.

But something is undeniably missing.

“We had pokies here about 14 or 15 years ago but there was a decision by the board of the day to remove them,” says club manager Glenn Stevenson (46).

“And the club has traded really well without them,” he says.

Wait. Rewind.

A bowlo’ without bells and whistles and jingly music and spinning wheels and people in trances.

Tharjini and Sri Lanka’s Track Masters turning heads at Carrara

The quietly spoken 44-year-old Tharjini Sivalingam commands a presence as she walks through the doors of the Gold Coast Sport and Leisure Centre at Carrara.

Strangers doubletake.

The veteran sportswoman with the ever-ready smile is in the house with Sri Lanka’s Track Masters netball team competing in the 2022 Pan Pacific Masters Games.

Rowing their way to good health and Australian records

If you’re looking for action, atmosphere, camaraderie, and genuine community spirit you need look no further than the indoor rowing competition at this years Pan Pacific Masters Games.

A relatively new sport in Australia it is fast becoming the ‘go to’ for many people coming back from injuries and looking for a low impact sport that’s challenging and fun. Sydneysider James Johnson, a below the knee amputee broke an Australian record this week to take home gold in the 500-metre adaptive rowing event.

Victorian team add some old spice to the netball competition

Gippsland netballer Linda Welsh (73) is celebrating her 23rd year of Masters Games on the Gold Coast with her team the Old Spice Girls. The experienced player first discovered her love of the sport at age 13 and has stepped onto the netball court for every Masters Games since 1998.

“This year would have been my 25th year of Masters Games if it wasn’t for COVID-19, but I’m determined to come back for another year or two even if I don’t get on the court,” Linda said.

Masters debutante happy to take a sporting holiday at home

At 33 and the youngest member of her netball team, fisheries officer Coral Doyle is looking forward to taking an unexpected week off work to compete at the Pan Pacific Masters Games.

Unexpected because the aptly named Coral had no inkling she was eligible for masters level sport until she was asked by a teammate if she was over 30.

Eligibility confirmed, Coral is joining some 725 netballers from all over Australia and the world with teams from the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea hitting the court for six days of intense competition at the Gold Coast Sport and Leisure Centre.

Bec’s Masters journey turns full circle as her mum’s pride propels her forward

As far as competitive swimmers go, Cairns’ Bec Wright sure took her sweet time diving into the sport.

And this week, as she competes in no less than nine pool and ocean events at the 2022 Pan Pacific Masters Games, she’ll be swimming with a very special spirit on her shoulders.

“My mum Judy was diagnosed with cancer 11 months ago and she passed away last Saturday,” Bec said.

“I was tossing up whether to race or not this week, but she said she wanted me to swim.