SILVER FISH: Marion Beulke is the oldest female competitor across all 44 sports at Jupiters Pan Pacific Masters Games.
SILVER FISH: Marion Beulke is the oldest female competitor across all 44 sports at Jupiters Pan Pacific Masters Games. Shelley Thomas

Silver-haired 'super fish' glides into Masters

AT THE age of 89, Marion Beulke is the oldest belle at the world's biggest biennial Masters Games.

This is an event that draws more than 12,000 athletes from 20 countries to Queensland's tourism mecca, the Gold Coast.

Marion steps up as not only the most senior female swimmer, but the oldest female competitor across all 44 sports at Jupiters Pan Pacific Masters Games, which was held from November 5-13.

The event showcases an eclectic mix of sports from swimming to dressage, dragon boat racing, lawn bowls and even trivia.

"I just love swimming. Always have,” Marion says.

"I grew up near Port Phillip Bay and both my mother and father were good swimmers, which was quite unusual back then - they were born in 1901 and 1902 - and they'd take us swimming at the beach when we were children.”

Marion spent her youth competing in surf lifesaving events and, despite being overlooked by Olympic selectors when she was 18, never gave up on a sport she says offers the ultimate in exercise and relaxation.

"It may sound funny, but I always enjoyed swimming long distances because you get into a rhythm, relax and go to sleep. And I don't think I'd be walking around as I am today unless I was swimming.”

Excited about competing at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Marion fondly remembers the tourist strip before it was developed.

That was back in 1943 when she performed with a ballet troupe that toured the country entertaining soldiers during the Second World War.

What is Masters swimming

Masters Swimming Australia is the peak body for adult swimmers aged18 and above. It is a non-government, not-for-profit organisation, constituted in 1975.

Masters Swimming Queensland is a not-for-profit organisation which provides administration to clubs throughout Queensland. Our primary goal is to encourage adults 18 and over to swim regularly for fitness, health, social interaction and competition on local, state and international levels.

It also provides a volunteer committee, officials, and other services to support clubs in their activities. There are no limits to how long you can swim and be a member of the organisation.

The state organisation of is based in the Swimming Queensland office, which is in the Brisbane Aquatic Centre, Chandler, Brisbane. Queensland has more than 40 affiliated clubs throughout the state.

Mission and Motto

Masters Swimming Australia's mission is "to provide at club, state and national level an environment to encourage all adults, regardless of ability, to swim regularly and compete in order to promote fitness and improve their general well being.”

Their motto is fitness, friendship and fun.

More at www.mastersswimmingqld.org.au


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