Maryborough Masters Games - athletics. Jim O'Donnell,86, from Pomona in the javelin.
Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Maryborough Masters Games - athletics. Jim O'Donnell,86, from Pomona in the javelin. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle Alistair Brightman

Masters preparing for Maryborough Games later this month

AN ATHLETE since he was a teenager, Linton Lewis loves competing and will do so again in the Maryborough Masters Games later this month.

The Maryborough Masters Games is a annual sporting event, for competitors over 30-years-of-age, which is regarded as one of the premier and largest participation sporting events in the Wide Bay.

"I joined the Maryborough Amatuer Athletics Club in 1955 and at a club level I both coach and compete,” Linton said.

"When it comes to the Masters, I compete in a few events and then volunteer at events.

"I suppose it's an incentive for fitness and I enjoy running, jumping and throwing.

"I also enjoy the comradery and like helping the juniors develop their abilities - it's a feeling of satisfaction seeing them improve as I coach them.”

The Maryborough local said he had won in some events in the Masters.

"I often win in the Masters - due to being the only one in my division.

"I keep on trying to better my personal best but as you get older your achievements slowly diminish but it is still worthwhile trying.”

The games will start on September 24 and go through October 9 with competitors giving it their all in 12 different categories.

Organiser Doug Walker said they expected more than 500 competitors with the addition of more sports.

"We had 496 competitors last year and they come from all over the Wide Bay, Brisbane and even Victoria,” he said.

"There were good entries all round last year, lawn bowls is making a comeback and there was record entries in the swimming.”

Doug said the event was spread over three weekends to cater for busy lifestyles, finals and the public holiday.

"We understand everyone is busy, so we keep it flexible and affordable to try and keep it going.

"The committee would like to see some more support for sponsorships and donations.

"This money would help with advertising, keep the fees down and extras we need to run the games.”

Jim O'Donnell has been driving up from Pomona to compete in the Maryborough Masters Games for more than 30 years.

"My first race was when I was seven and I have been running and competing every year since,” he said.

"In the forties I was running professional foot races in Victoria but I didn't join the Masters til I was 56-years-old.”

Jim always wanted to compete as an amatuer and the Masters gave him the avenue.

He has competed in most of the field events in athletics and now only doing a few of the jumps.

"I'll be coming up this year - I love it - it's a bit of fun, a trip away and meeting up with people I have met over the years,” Jim said.

"I don't know why I do it, I just keep on doing it - if you stop, you stop.

"I do a bit of exercise and training - try and keep fit.”

The 88-year-old athlete said he wasn't the oldest competitor and had a bit of competition.

"Felix Jacobson is 93 and does field events - he still holds the record for discus and shotput.

"I still have a record in the over seventies triple jump.

"It gives the young people something to try and beat when they join and keep them in the sport.

"And I think I am just too silly to stop.”

Full details and entry forms are available at maryboroughmastersgames.com.au or phone 4121 4545 or 4121 6121.


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