Ryan Lepore - 8 October 2013
The darts competition at the 14th Australian Masters Games got underway yesterday with the doubles event. Competitors have come from all across Australia to compete, with entrants from as far afield as Geraldton in Western Australia to Gympie, two hours north of Brisbane.
Barbara Jose drove across the Nullabor with husband, Vaughan and her friend Noelle Fletcher, who she partnered with for a bronze medal yesterday in the women’s doubles 101-120 combined age group. Her husband went slightly better, claiming a silver medal with Herman Fransen in the men’s doubles 121+ category.
Barbara missed the last Games in Geelong in 2009 but had been to the previous three in Adelaide and is thrilled to be in town this time around.
“We arrived on Saturday and absolutely love it. We all play in our local mixed comp back in Geraldton and we like to plan our biennial holiday around the Games so we can attend each time,” she explained.
Playing darts for over thirty years as a hobby, Jose was optimistic she might be able to claim another medal today - singles day which features competitions in the men’s 51-60, women’s 51-60 and the men’s 60+ age groups.
“It’s about having fun and participating but of course I would love to win another medal, I’ll be giving it my all,” she said.
The foursome from Gympie is made up of Kerry Treichel, John Groves, Clyde Benson and Robbie Van Eck. They are aptly named the ‘Nutcrackers’ because Groves and his wife own a macadamia farm back home and are sponsoring the team.
The Nutcrackers have been to five masters events in Alice Springs but are competing at their first Australian Masters Games.
Team captain Treichel explained that their trip had been organised his wife, Joy who is playing netball at the Games.
“My wife plays netball and was coming over for the Games, so we thought we would tag along. It’s a really enjoyable week and the competition is excellent too,” he said.
It was a gold medal day for the Nutcrackers on Monday, with Treichel and Van Eck claiming gold in the open men’s doubles and Groves and Benson winning the 121+ men’s event.
The darts action continues on Thursday with the Fours competition and Friday will see the Mixed Fours and Mixed Doubles events at the Geelong Darts Club in Corio.
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We're heading west! The next Australian Masters Games will take place in Perth in 2021.