Perth will explode with mature athletes when the Australian Masters Games returns after 28 years.
But for all their fitness, dedication and long-time love of their myriad sports, the 6,000 participants have one overriding pleasure: mixing with others and making friends.
It’s a long way from the Tokyo Olympic Games, physically and metaphorically, but mature games competitors will be chasing gold, silver and bronze.
Their philosophy is based on inclusiveness; promoting fitness, involvement and fun.
During 9-16 October, older Australians will be jumping, running, hitting, bouncing, swimming and racing in more than 50 sports.
There is no criteria to qualify. The oldest registered participant is 91 and some swimmers are in their 30s.
As the games shift around Australia each time, more older Australians connect in entering, competing and attracting their own supporters (Perth expects more than 2,000 of them).
A strong social program is always proudly presented by host cities. In Perth, there will be sunset-viewing, beach barbecues, tours of Optus Stadium and visits to our popular venues including Boolip Bardip, our spectacular new museum.
“a friendly games. It’s great to be among good people and enjoy life and make the most of it.”Sam Pepe
Local tennis player Debra Waters believes visitors will revel in Perth.
“There are our beaches to love, plus Rottnest and Kings Park. They should make some time to visit the south-west and the beaches, wineries and walking trails there.”
Debra, who concedes she is over 50, is a Mount Lawley Tennis Club stalwart. This is not her first masters games.
“I entered the Adelaide 2019 games. I love to compete and enjoy the excitement of a games event with participants from all over the country.
“I’m looking forward to catching up with people and friends I have made during tennis competitions over the years. And to meeting new people.
“I enjoy playing tennis and love the social comradery.”
Debra believes Australians across the country should participate in the games.
“It’s fun, exciting and always an opportunity to explore a new city and state and make new friends.”
Debra is an advocate for playing tennis to stay physically and mentally active.
“I have played tennis for many years and have made a lot of long-lasting friendships. Tennis is a great sport to play competitively and socially at any level,” she said.
Subi Vets basketballer Sam Pepe, 64, is competing in his first masters games. When asked what he was most looking forward to about the event, Sam said: “a friendly games. It’s great to be among good people and enjoy life and make the most of it.”
Sam is dedicated and loyal. He has been playing in the same team since 1979.
Mary Brown, at 55 years young, will be competing in her first games.
The enthusiastic member of the Vikings Women’s Softball Club, based in Madeley, has signed-on for the women’s over-45 social softball event.
Mary said a key incentive to enter this year was the games being in Perth.
“I’m looking forward to playing with ladies closer to my age and meeting new people,” she said.
There were other bonuses: “to have fun, keep active and enjoy the sport with friends while taking in the different surroundings and countryside.”
For interstaters, Mary said Perth offered countless attractions: “Travel the regions, Pilbara especially. You have to visit Rottnest Island and do the island tour, visit the Swan Valley and enjoy the wineries and eateries. It’s fun. Definitely Hillary’s Beach. Have fish and chips while the sun is setting.
“I love the game, live the sport; it’s play time, then party time!” said Mary.
Softball will be held at Mirrabooka International Softball Stadium, basketball at Bendat Basketball Stadium and tennis at the State Tennis Centre.
Event website: www.australianmastersgames.com/
Full list of sports: www.australianmastersgames.com/sports/