World Masters Games Report

Claire and I attended the World Masters Games in Sydney late October. 28,686 competitors attended – most of them spending 2-4 hours waiting to register but all of them having a ball! We were there to promote our recently published book The Masters Athlete and the associated website: Oh what memories it bought back for us. I was involved in the 1994 World Masters Games – firstly on the Medical Advisory Panel for the Games and secondly as the Meet Director for the Swimming.  Not much had changed. The fun and friendship was still there in Sydney. But the numbers had swollen from 10,000 in 1994 to 28, 686 in 2009. Here are our observations and memories of Sydney.

Cold Wet and Windy Oh how we felt for the thousands of competitors who stood in congo lines waiting for up to 5 hrs to register. Especially those who came to row or open water swim only to find their events cancelled due to the cold and windy conditions. Hope the social and fun side of the regatta and swimming made up for it.

Catching up with old friends Claire and I have been involved with masters sport since we started the Miami Masters Swim Club in 1987. A wonderful club where fun, fitness and friendship, the motto of AUSSI Masters Swimming, was exemplified in spades! It was there that we met Max and Rosita Gillespie from Brisbane Southside Masters Swim Club who despite being 30 years older than us became great mates – oh the joys of masters sport. Max competed in the swimming at the Sydney Games and caught up with us at our expo site.

Meeting New People with a Zest for Life We had the pleasure of meeting some great people while at our expo stand. A few stand out in our memories:

John Gluckman and PeterJohn Gluckman from New Zealand who competed in Sydney in the track and field but who also had climbed Mt Everest. Here he is showing us the article on him in the “Runners World” while I show him my new book.



Veronica Welgemoed and PeterVeronica Welgemoed from South Africa who has run 18.1 seconds for the 100m on the track as a 75-79 yr old. Her zest for life and positive outlook was amazing.




Elvire Asprey Peter and Julie SteeleElvire Asprey from New South Wales here in Oz. Elvire is the mum of Professor Julie Steele, an academic colleague from the University of Woolongong. Julie and Elvire were both competing in track events in the same age group. As it tuned out, we were able to link up Elvire with Veronica – they were both at the expo at the same time!!



Peter Jakob Dekole Ken Orr and Keith AlmeidaKen Orr from Canada who was competing in the track cycling. Ken is a world class track cyclist, quiet and humble! Here he is (in cap) with fellow trackie Peter Jakob Dekole and New Zealander Keith Almeida and another good lookin’ bloke! 




Bhag Singh and PeterBhag Singh from India who competes in track sprinting and is a drug controller in his home country.

The memories will stay with us forever. And isn’t that what it’s all about in masters sport – the fun, fitness and friendship that comes from being involved with masters sport!

Hope all our readers had a wonderful and safe Xmas. All the best for 2010.

Peter and Claire.