Zach Wheldon of the Oceanside Sharks midget lacrosse program

PGOSA Profile

Soul Sister Shelley Goertzen gets her kicks at inaugural Americas Masters Games

I had the pleasure of attending the Americas Masters Games in Vancouver from Aug. 26 to Sept. 4 this year.  This was the inaugural year for the Americas Masters, which is a subset of the World Masters Games, held every four years since 1985.

And it was a great success! Thousands of athletes came from all over North and South America, as well as from Europe and Asia, to compete in one of 24 sports. Age categories run from 30-over all the way up to the age category of 100+ in Athletics.

The Games kicked off in a big way, with opening ceremonies at Jack Poole Plaza in downtown Vancouver. Opening ceremonies included a welcome by local celebrities and dignitaries and First Nations dancers, all capped off by the lighting of the Olympic Cauldron. What a way to welcome everyone to beautiful British Columbia.

The parade of athletes gave us a chance to meet athletes from everywhere and every sport. Think of it as like a mini-Olympics but with age categories. And probably with a more liberal party atmosphere;  I doubt there was a beer tent for the athletes in Rio.

I competed at the Games in Women’s Over 50 soccer, with the Goal Sisters, a team that I had played with prior to moving to Parksville from Ottawa. There were five teams in our division, including teams from California, Washington state, B.C. and Ottawa.

We had met one of the teams, the West Coast Winos, when we played in the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy, in 2013. With five teams in the division, we were guaranteed four games, playing every other team once. Unfortunately we couldn’t find the back of the net often enough and we lost the bronze medal game to the WC Winos.

I enjoy competing in Masters Games because of the diversity of sports presented and the enthusiasm of the participants. The soccer matches were all held at UBC, and when we weren’t playing we could go watch archery, field hockey and track and field events for all age categories. Then, after the competition, we compare injuries and successes (and losses) in the athlete’s recovery zone (aka the beer tent). The next Masters Games are the Worlds, to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in April 2017.

— The PGOSA Profile is part of a series highlighting members of the Parksville Golden Oldies Sports Association, a local association for athletes aged 55 and over. For details on the numerous sport activities sponsored by PGOSA, visit www.pgosa.org.

Just Posted

Ballenas students launch fundraiser for U.S. travel to promote science experiment

Students’ experiment headed for International Space Station

Search is on for parties to build $10.7M Bowser sewage project

Further investigation of land disposal option rejected by RDN board

Parksville council won’t ban single-use plastic bags

Politicians vote 6-1 against proposed bylaw

RDN dealing with high interest in backyard cannabis production

New policy proposed to address challenges with Health Canada licences

Qualicum Beach doles out Community Awards

Jacobson is Citizen of the Year; new mayor Wiese named top newsmaker

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

One dead, two seriously injured in Hwy 4 crash west of Port Alberni

A man has died following a single-vehicle collision west of Port Alberni… Continue reading

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Most Read