Trevor Wilson says that sport at Masters level may be challenging for the body, but it’s great for the mind.
The Tindalls Bay architectural designer will compete in the 45–50 age category in three events – the decathlon, long jump and 400m – at the World Masters Games this month and he says his focus leading up to the games is trying to get through his training uninjured. “I spend a lot of money at the physio,” he says.
The 10 decathlon sports – 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m – are designed to test all round athletic strength, speed and skill.
Combined, it can be an injury minefield – something Trevor, who has had double hip surgery, is well aware of.
Several years of competing in various athletics disciplines came together when Trevor decided to take on his first decathlon, last year, at the World Masters Athletics Championship in Perth. He says the camaraderie at the event was a highlight along with training alongside some inspirational older athletes – some in their 90s.
He also learned that it wasn’t a good idea to cycle to and from the competition. “Cycling to the stadium took half an hour each way and combined with the competition on day one, my legs were stuffed,” Trevor says. “I made sure I got a lift the second day.”
Although he injured his right knee in Perth, his sixth placing was all the inspiration he needed to enter the decathlon again for this year’s World Masters Games.
An overuse injury to a tendon in his other knee is causing him some concern as he trains at Millenium Stadium and on the grass track at Metro Park East.
He says although it’s been challenging to master the shot put, discus and javelin in particular, the variety of techniques required for the decathlon is what he enjoys most.
“I’m more of a sprinter and jumper than a thrower,” he says. “Your throwing arm goes a bit as you get older and you have a couple of good ones in you, then your shoulder is stuffed.”
“It’s worth taking that risk that your body holds together because this is an amazing opportunity.”
Trevor says he’s also keen to go to the next World Masters Games, in Japan in 2021.
“Masters is good for mental health. It’s great to get out of the office at the end of the day and get your lungs working.
I’m actually looking forward to turning 50 so I’ll be youngest in my age group again; the hurdles will be lower, and the shot put, discus and javelin will be lighter!”
Games facts and figures
The World Masters Games take place April 21–30. It is the largest multi-sport event in the world.
New Zealand is fielding the most participants – a total of 10,594 – followed by Australia with 6966.
The most popular team sport is basketball, with 170 teams registered. Rugby doesn’t even make the top five most popular team sports.
The most popular individual sport is athletics, with 1953 competitors.