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.
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.
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.
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.
This year sees the revival of the purpose built and exclusive Games Village alongside the beach at Kurrawa Park in the heart of Broadbeach. The ‘big top’ is where the 13,000-plus participants can party the night away after a big day of competition, meet old friends and new and soak up the camaraderie the legendary Games Village is famous for.
The 2022 Pan Pacific Masters Games are here…finally!
Over the coming 10 days over 13,000 participants in 41 sports and their 20,000 supporters will descend on the city for the first time since 2018, including coronavirus disruptions in 2020 and 2021.
Events Management Queensland CEO Cam Hart says all is in readiness with strong support across all sports.
“Everyone’s just champing at the bit to be a part of Australia’s largest Masters Games once again,” Mr Hart said ahead of Friday’s start of competition.
They came in pairs, they came in groups, and some arrived on their own. Before long the queue for ‘Check In’ at the Pan Pacific Masters Games became a babble of happy laugher and excited chatter as hundreds of participants picked up their kits and accreditation ahead of 10 days of fun, friendly but fierce sporting competition.
Victorian Calisthenics exponent Sonia Chapple is headed to her first Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast (4-13 November 2022) thankful she’s not the founding member of a very exclusive club. “I had a liver transplant 10 years ago, a pancreas transplant six and a half years ago and there was talk at one stage that I might need a kidney transplant,” Sonia said.
Star Walker’s inclusiveness, warmth and welcome has given a Pan Pacific Masters Games (PPMG) vision impaired debutant the confidence to play netball and experience high action sport she thought she’d never enjoy again. When Suzanne Worland was diagnosed with Macular Tel Type 2 seven years ago, she was told her sight would be okay until she was in her late 60’s or older.