27 October 2017
Tony Eltakchi has played touch football at the highest level, captaining the mixed Australian team, but he has rarely had as much fun as playing with friends at the Australian Masters Games.
The 49-year-old from Western Sydney in New South Wales retired from the national team in 2010 and has since relished the opportunity to play in Masters competitions where the environment is a lot more relaxed.
He is part of a team from Adelaide, who have travelled together in the past, made up of five boys and six girls that won their first game on Thursday and lost the second in a close encounter.
“We played pretty well today, I just do my job out there,” Eltakchi said.
“As you get older you know where you need to be, but your legs just can’t get you there.
“I’m feeling okay, a little bit of a twitch in the hammy but not too bad.”
Eltakchi represented Australia in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 World Cups in the Men’s 30’s and Mixed Open division, as well as playing in the Mixed Open in the 2002, 2009 and 2010 Trans-Tasman Series.
“Oh, it’s sensational the Masters experience,” he exclaimed.
“The Games are what they should be about, making new friends and having fun, we have a few drinks.
“We got here early on Monday so have done a lot of sight-seeing, started in Launceston and worked our way up north.”
More than 10,000 athletes and spectators will come together in Adelaide in 2019 for the 17th Australian Masters Games.
Tasmania’s North West has put on a show during eight days of memorable Australian Masters Games action, according to Games general manager Scott Wade.
It is impressive for anyone to take up a sport in their later years and compete as a Masters athlete, but starting out as a gymnast at the age of 60 is a remarkable achievement by Alexander Beernink.