28 October 2017
It has been four years since Deb Reynolds played a competitive game of basketball, but you would not have guessed it watching her bring the ball up for the Trojans at the 16th Australian Masters Games.
The 43-year-old played a big role in the team’s gold medal game against the Breakers on Saturday morning in Ulverstone, helping them win the 40-plus age division in a tight contest.
“We’ve known each other for some time and there’s a core that have played together and also a group that have come together from World Masters in ’09 so we cross paths regularly,” Reynolds said after the match.
“I haven’t played for about four years, there’s girls in here that haven’t played for about six or seven years so it’s a bit of a gathering and a reunion which is really nice.
“It’s awesome, just good fun participating, and the Games are wonderful – to meet people you haven’t met before and see others you haven’t for years.
“The atmosphere is fantastic, basketball has been great, and I’ve played cricket as well.”
Both teams played hard, especially when it came down to the last play with seconds remaining as the Trojans held a 48-45 lead and were able to prevent the Breakers from taking a game-tying shot.
“It’s been a ball and we’ve had fun with a lot of laughs,” Reynolds added.
“If we make a mistake we laugh it off and go again, also if there’s one thing I know about these girls is that they have a fighting spirit and they won’t give up.
“That proved true today.”
Reynolds is already looking towards the next Australian Masters Games in 2019, which was officially announced on Friday will be hosted by the city of Adelaide.
“Oh, I love it,” she said.
“Everyone plays hard when they’re actually playing but with an element of fun about it and as soon as you come off it’s very social.
“It has been run really well and people have put their hand up to help the event.”
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.