Oceania Masters Championships – Event also about camaraderie

Source: Event also about camaraderie

It does not matter the age or how much the body creaks — as long as the competitive juices still flow.

For many sport is about winning and losing.

But what is also important is camaraderie, stretching the emotions and giving your all.

That was plain to see during the opening two days of e Oceania Masters Athletics Championships at the Caledonian Ground.

The championships, which started on Saturday morning, involve more than 360 competitors from around Oceania and beyond.

The oldest competitor is 91 while there are some in their 30s.

Thrower Tom Gravestock is one example of the path travelled by many masters athletes.

The Perth teacher competed in athletics when he was young.But then children came along and life got in the way.

The children grew up and time became more available so he decided to get back into the sport about six years ago.

The 62-year-old went to Bendigo in Victoria for the Oceania championships four years ago and also competed in the World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth in 2016.

He said the championships were great and really enjoyable for the athletes.

“The camaraderie among the competitors is fantastic. Everyone is helping each other and you build up some great friendships,” he said.

“We all get our wee injuries we have to deal with but we all try to compete at the end of the day.”

As with most masters athletes he is competing in many events — he won the discus and hammer in his age-group over the weekend and had the shot put and the weights pentathlon to come.

The conditions yesterday were excellent for athletics — not too hot with little wind.

Championships organising chairwoman Joan Merrilees said the event had got off to a good start with nice weather conditions and plenty of records broken.

The championships finish on Saturday with a half-marathon although Wednesday is a rest day.

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