4 October 2013
The starting guns are finally ready to fire as competition begins at the 14th Australian Masters Games. After two years of detailed planning and preparation, Geelong has begun welcoming and housing the 8,000 participants and their support crews.
Whilst swimming gets a head start on the other 49 sports, with its first events this afternoon, tomorrow is the first full day of action with competition at 18 venues and ending with the colourful Opening Ceremony.
The day’s activities encapsulate the key themes of the Games – with participation, enjoyment and camaraderie at the top of the list. Mental as Anything and James Reyne will provide the climax of the accreditation-only ceremony which starts at 7.00pm at the Avalon Airport Games Village at Kardinia Park.
Sunrise star Mark Beretta will host the four and a half hour long party which begins with a performance by Cheer Geelong and the Athlete March in which the traditionally colourfully-clad participants will parade in their sport groups. The march will be led by the competitors in drilldance - a sport making its debut at the Games.
Games participants will take on each of the customary ceremonial roles, with 49-year-old equestrian, Tessa Libreri leading the national anthem, basketball’s Robert Cannon (Blacktown, NSW), soccer player Alan Greenslade (Aranda, ACT), hockey’s Helenmary MacLeod (Willaura, Vic), and badminton player Pricilla Wright (Geelong) chosen to deliver the Games flag and Western Australian softballer, Jeni Work accorded the honour of taking the Athletes’ Oath. Belmont’s Peter Cornell who is the Games’ lawn bowls organiser will read the Officials Oath.
Victoria’s Minister for Sport and Recreation, the Honourable Hugh Delahunty will officially open the Games at 8.20pm. It will represent the third time they have been held in Victoria and the second time in Geelong.
“It demonstrates the Victorian Government’s commitment to the Games, and to the region. But importantly, it shows the City of Geelong’s enormous capacity to stage world class events, the Minister said.
“And equally importantly we known that there is no other competition in Australia where you will find people of all abilities over the age of 30, playing in so many sports in such a spirit of friendship, and camaraderie. It provides the perfect inspiration for the over-30’s to make positive lifestyle changes.”
The night of ceremony and entertainment will be preceded by competition in a broad range of sports including the opening rounds of tournament competition in badminton, baseball, basketball, hockey and softball.
Nine sports have scheduled their events within the two days of the opening weekend:
Archery, athletics and canoe/kayak get under way whilst the swimming competition continues.
The Australian Masters Games will be staged from Saturday 5 to Saturday 12 October and is one of Australia’s largest multi sporting events.
For further Australian Masters Games information and to register, visit - www.AustralianMastersGames.com
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More than 10,000 athletes and spectators will come together in Adelaide in 2019 for the 17th Australian Masters Games.