Both Karlie Stanbra (pictured) and her mother Helen Schmidt made the podium at the games.
by Ben Donaldson
The World Masters Games last month have been dubbed ‘the best games ever’ by the International Masters Games Association after Auckland hosted the event from April 21 to 30.
The world’s largest multi-sport event saw 28,000 people compete from over 50 countries across 28 sports. Within the 48 venues for the Games, over 120,000 arrows were shot in archery, more than 1150 games of tennis were played and almost 240,000 points were rallied for in badminton.
Games 2017 chief executive Jennah Wootten says coordinating all this activity was a huge logistical undertaking, but all the hard work produced a fantastic event.
Congratulations to all those who were involved in the World Masters Games 2017.
John Winkie, Omaha
Medals: Gold (mountain bike), silver (criterium, road race)
John Winkie took gold in the mountain bike race beating second place by 13 minutes. “I enjoyed racing against overseas competitors and I certainly wouldn’t dismiss the idea of attending the next games in Japan,” he says. “The biggest challenges for me were the long hill climbs in the mountain bike and road race.”
Kaye Jackson, Snells Beach
Medals: Gold (singles)
Kaye Jackson won her sixth masters games medal and second gold for squash in Auckland. “It was an excellent tournament that was really well organised,” Kaye says. “The girl I played in the final was very fit so I had to move her around a lot.” She hopes to compete in the World Masters Squash Championships in Virginia next year.
Antoinette Spain, Ti Point
Sport: Touch, basketball
Medals: Gold (touch)
Antoinette had to play touch rugby and basketball on the same day, three days in a row, before taking out a gold medal with her touch team, the Sharks. “It was quite challenging playing two sports on the same day leading up to the touch final,” she says. “The games lived up to my expectations with the standard of play and I learnt shooting is an area our basketball team needs to work on.”
Robbie Blair, Warkworth
Sport: Table tennis, tennis
Medals: Bronze (team)
Robbie Blair reunited with his junior table tennis rival Kerry Palmer to win bronze in the team event. “It was hard at times accepting you’re not the player you used to be,” Robbie says. “Seeing some of the older players was inspiring and reminds you to keep doing these things while you still can.”
Murray & Bev Billington, Warkworth
Age: 73 and 69
Medals: Gold (mixed doubles), silver (men’s doubles)
Murray and Bev Billington won their second gold this year in mixed doubles tennis at the masters games after winning at the Tennis New Zealand Seniors National Champs. “The standard was lower than what I expected as there weren’t many foreign players in our group,” Murray says. “We enjoyed the professional set up, though, and it was great to win a medal.”
Mike Fitzgerald, Omaha
Sport: Surf life saving
Medals: Silver (surf team)
Mike Fitzgerald won silver alongside Omaha Surf Life Saving Club team mates Rhys Powell and Frank Maher. “Seeing the standard of the other competitors has inspired me to improve and compete in the New Zealand Nationals next year,” he says. “Ultimately I would like to compete in an event at Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club in a couple of years time.”
Other local winners by medal count:
- Allan Martin: Athletics, six gold (100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, long jump and javelin)
- Matt Craig: Surf life saving, gold, two silver, bronze (2km run, board race, board team and beach flags)
- Terry and Kim McDell: Sailing, gold (two-handed WETA trimaran)
- Lesley Holmes: Waka Ama, gold (500m sprint)
- Sarah Gordon and Angela Fletcher: Badminton, gold (doubles)
- Kathryn Ramel: Touch, gold
- Rachael Lawrence: Touch, gold
- Allison Roe: Cycling, gold (mountain bike)
- Rhys Powell: Surf life saving, two silver, two bronze (board team, surf team, beach flags and beach sprint)
- Frank Maher: Surf life saving, two silver (board team, surf team)
- Deb Collings: Surf life saving, silver, abronze (board race, board relay)
- Gloria Wilmot: Tennis, silver (singles)
- Karlie Stanbra: Hockey, silver
- Alistair Elder: Football, silver
- Ross Miller: Football, silver
- Jonathan Leaver: Athletics, silver (400m)
- Lee Georgetti: Surf life saving, silver (board relay)
- Ruth Tanner: Surf life saving, silver (board relay)
- Helen Schmidt: Golf, bronze