Jodie Whittaker - 6 October 2013
Macleod’s Arthur Ince is living proof that getting older does not mean having to slow down. Even people decades younger struggle to keep up with his gruelling pace. The spritely octogenarian certainly does not take the ageing process, lying down.
The 83-year-old is looking forward to some intense competition and hopefully a few medals during the 14th Australian Masters Games in Geelong.
This is the fifth time he will have competed in these Games.
“Although I’ve won a few medals in masters competitions, I have been able to enjoy my time in several towns and cities,” Ince says.
In response to the suggestion that many people of his age spend their days more sedately, Ince merely laughs,
“You have to keep moving and seeing places, or there is no real life”.
Travel is a particular imperative around each Games for Ince.
“I especially like going on trips for the competitions. It’s great fun seeing places. I’ve had so many lovely visits, to places like Port Pirie, Canberra, Mildura, Alice Springs and of course, Geelong.”
For Ince, choosing a favourite event or as it happens sport, amongst the 11 disciplines he will be competing in during the Games, is tricky. For he plans to take part in three sports - indoor rowing, swimming (including freestyle and backstroke events) and athletics (covering the breadth of the 60m, 1500m race walk, weight pentathlon, shot put and discus)
“I’m not really that good or skilled, I just enjoy having a good go,” Ince says.
The Australian Masters Games are not the only events Ince travels for. The avid sports fan also competes and spectates at the Pan Pac Games.
It was during the Queensland Pan Pacs last November that he was injured during a fall from the stand.
“It’s a darnn nuisance because I broke my elbow, which has reduced my speed a bit,” he explained.
As a result, his training routine has been trimmed back to a mere daily walk, swim and gym session.
Individual sports are not the only way Ince finds to enjoy his active leisure time. A member of the St Kilda Premier Cricket Club, he was awarded the prestigious Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for his fifty years of service to cricket, as both player and coach. He is also a member of the Heidelberg Flyers Masters Swimming club and in his ‘spare’ time, a fervent participant in his local Neighbourhood Watch group.
About the only dispensation Ince makes for his age is a resistance to driving at night - possibly the only time he slows down enough to spend time with his wife, Vera.
In his application to become an athlete at this year’s Masters Games, Ince took the time to offer his thanks and congratulations to the people who volunteer to help as their contribution is essential to the success of any enterprise
Ince is truly the personification of graceful ageing - an active, dignified and thoughtful gentleman who lives to stay healthy and play a valuable role in the community.
The Australian Masters Games will be staged until Saturday 12 October and is one of Australia’s largest multi sporting events.
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Over 8,000 weekend warriors are set to inspire Australians to get active when the 17th Australian Masters Games kick off in Adelaide in October next year.