by Henry Landers - 9 October 2015
Southern Cross Care CEO Andrew Larpent FROM Unley, Adelaide has joined the 15th Australian Masters Games not only in a professional capacity as a Games sponsor but also as a participant in the golf croquet tournament.
“I’ve become a bit of a croquet fanatic since I came to Australia four years ago,” Andrew said. “It’s such a wonderful sport. It engages people of all ages - we have people in their 90s, in their 20s, and even younger than that.
“So for us it’s been a wonderful sport to get involved in, a great social life”.
When asked about his progress in the competition so far, the 64-year - old England native chuckled he was only “average”.
“We’re working hard at it. It requires a lot of concentration. There’s a lot of tactics involved as it’s a cunning game. It also requires a degree of accuracy, as well as a degree of skill and I’m still learning that,” said Andrew.
Andrew heralded the social aspect of sport as a key reason why Southern Cross Care and he are such big supporters of the Australian Masters Games.
“The best part is, I think, interacting with people from all over Australia who are passionate about their sport, and meeting new people engaged in the sport. As a result one’s own game improves,” Andrew said.
“The volunteers who are supporting the Australian Masters Games are marvellous and have just been amazing.
“Their commitment to looking after people and supporting people is just what we hoped to see, and I can’t thank them enough for all the hard work they’ve put in.”
Andrew hopes that Southern Cross Care’s affiliation with the Australian Masters Games volunteer workforce will help to change the public perception of aged care’s role in later life.
“Southern Cross Care is an aged care organisation and traditionally aged care has not been seen as a particularly active part of life,” said Andrew.
“We’re trying to really change that - people in aged care can continue to take part in active and healthy living and keep engaged in the things that keep them connected in their communities. Part of that is sport.
“The Australian Masters Games are fantastic for us to be involved with, the games themselves are amazing, and to have that connection is inspiring a lot of our volunteers.
“We’re hoping to attract more volunteers to work in aged care, and so we’ve sponsored the Australian Masters Games volunteer workforce - it’s been a rewarding thing to do”.
Andrew’s message to prospective participants is a convincing one.
“If you have any interest in sport, if you love being out in the outdoors in Australia, and even doing indoor sports, then Australia is the place for you – it’s a sports mad country. Taking part in sport at all ages is what the Australian Masters Games is all about.
“It’s a fantastic operation, a really great organisation, and I congratulate the organisers on a wonderful tournament.”
The croquet competition finishes on Friday October 9.
The 15th Australian Masters Games are being held in Adelaide, October 3-10, featuring more than 10,000 participants from across Australia and around the world.
The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia
We're heading west! The next Australian Masters Games will take place in Perth in 2021.
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