2018 Alice Springs Masters Games
The Alice Springs Masters Games, known as the "The Friendly Games" was the first Masters Games to be held in Australia in 1986 - therefore this one just passed was the 17th. The World Masters Games was conceived by an Australian (a netball coach from Adelaide contracted to a Canadian team) and was held the year before in Toronto. It is thought that the success of that event is why the name "Masters" stuck to adult sport as there was much conflict about the name we should use. The first Australian Masters Games was held in Tasmania in 1987 and the next in Adelaide. The only AMG to be held in Perth was in 1993 and there have been a few since in regional areas. AMGs continue about each two years around the Country and we've had three World Masters Games in Australia (each of which I had some involvement in their conduct).
I tell this story as Masters Games are not well known here and the best without doubt is "The Friendly Games" in Alice springs. Masters Games is all about friendship and participation and there are no qualifying times, you don't have to be a member of a club and you compete as an individual. Also, participants are encouraged to "Have a Go" at more than one sport (the very reason why Pauline and I took up triathlon - my words: ". . . well okay, but only one up there where no one can see us look stupid"). No one looks stupid in Alice Springs, in fact it's the newbies that get the most encouragement and accolades. I say all this as our Club had only three swimmers up there this year - so 100 missed out on the fun. We do things like go Ocean Swimming in Greece - do this, it's cheaper.
Okay, so much for the sales pitch - we did have three Club members go this time (albeit two swam under their old Club's banner) so hooray for Des Seery who I think was the only Mandurah Masters swimmer. Now "winning is not important" but they do have beautiful heavy medals for those that do. Leading the charge was Gerda Williams with four individual Gold and one Silver (that's all I could find), three in Games Record time, then four relays with her sister Jannie three of those were also Games Records. Jannie also won two Gold (one being a record) and three Silvers. Gerda tied for the aggregate trophy for her age group. Now for Des - he also had a good time and swam well in three freestyle events plus picked up a bronze medal in a relay and another in the 50m freestyle. This was in addition to his officiating and medal presentations - well done Des.
Thanks for the report Ivan