Australian Masters Games

Former Crow and Triple M jock Nick Gill wins gold for beyondblue

8 October 2015

Former Crow and Triple M jock Nick Gill wins gold for beyondblue

Day six of the 15th Australian Masters Games was a celebration of partnerships and goodwill, as former Adelaide Crows forward Nick Gill and Southern Cross Care CEO Andrew Larpent joined more than 10,000 participants competing in Adelaide.

33-year-old Gill – who played 16 games for the Crows between 2007 and 2009 – competed in today’s 8km cross country competition at Adelaide’s Victoria Park, and took home the gold medal from the 30+ men’s event.

Although needing to tread cautiously due to severe and permanent cartilage damage in his ankle, the now Triple M Adelaide announcer pushed through the pain in the name of charity – entering the Games as a beyondblue ambassador.

“It’s been a fun experience and I’m glad I came out and did it,” said Gill.

“It’s hard to turn it down for such a good cause.”

Beyondblue is a national initiative to raise awareness of anxiety and depression, and provides resources for recovery, management and resilience. As a speaker and ambassador for the organisation, Gill donned his best blue for his event and was more than happy to help out.

“They asked if I could compete, and I ran back in school so I thought I’d try and get over my injuries for a little bit, to help out beyondblue.”

30-year-old former House Rules contestant Ryan Rebbeck is also supporting beyondblue, as he competes in tomorrow’s City Mile run at Torrens West Lake, whilst 69-year-old Sydney cyclist Anne Besser has been raising funds from the moment she registered for the Australian Masters Games, and competed in today’s time trial. She will also ride in tomorrow’s road race.

More than $6,000 has been raised for beyondblue from its partnership with the 15th Australian Masters Games, largely thanks to the generosity of all participants and especially the likes of Gill, Rebbeck and Besser.

Nick Gill will join Ryan Rebbeck and partner Marlee Murphy on Friday night as part of the Games social program, with beyondblue staff and volunteers also on hand for free information and support.

Elsewhere on day six, Southern Cross Care CEO Andrew Larpent made the most of his company’s partnership with the 15th Australian Masters Games, participating in the croquet tournament.

“I’ve become a bit of a croquet fanatic since I came to Australia four years ago,” said Larpent.

“It’s such a wonderful sport – it engages people of all ages, and we have people in their nineties and we have people in their twenties, and younger than that,”

“For us it’s been a wonderful sport to get involved in, a great social life”.

The Englishman is nothing if not honest about his form so far.

“Average,” chuckled Larpent.

“We’re working hard at it – it requires a lot of concentration. There’s a lot of tactics involved, it’s a cunning game, and it also requires a degree of accuracy, and a degree of skill and I’m still learning that.”

A number of Southern Cross Care staff – including Larpent – are either participating or volunteering at this year’s Australian Masters Games, and for the CEO it’s been worthwhile experience.

“The best part is I think just interacting with people who are passionate about their sport, from all over Australia, and meeting new people engaging in the sport, and improving one’s own game as a result, and working with these marvellous volunteers,” said Larpent. 

“The volunteers who are supporting the Australian Masters Games 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”.

In other action from day six, the race walkers moved from the track to the road in for their longest race of 15th Australian Masters Games – with participants 89 years and under competing in the 10km event.

First across the line at Victoria Park was 43-year-old Sunesh Kumar who rounded out a perfect walking week. Malaysia’s only representative at the Games, Kumar added further gold to his 1500m, 3km and 5km walk wins and not only took out his age group, but came first overall in all four races in Adelaide.

Kumar has walked competitively since the age of 13, though took a six year break in his mid-twenties. His fitness has started to decline by the time he was 30, however, and he rediscovered his passion for race walking as a result.

After hearing about the World Masters Games in Sydney in 2009, Kumar set himself the goal of competing at the 2013 World Masters Games in Torino, Italy. He achieved his goal, and placed fourth in the 5km walk and fifth in the 10km walk.

“I have loved my time here,” said Kumar.

“Adelaide is a beautiful city and this has been an amazing experience. I will be back, and I hope when I come back next time I can bring more athletes from Malaysia and surrounding countries.”

“I have loved competing and I have also loved making new friends, I came here all on my own but I will leave with new friends who I hope can keep in touch.”

Highlights and points of interest for Friday 9 October:

  • SPECIAL EVENT: Chris Dittmar’s Darts Legends vs. Triple M Listeners

12pm – Airbnb Games Village – Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide

Triple M’s Chris Dittmar has assembled his very own team of darts legends to take on the listeners of Triple M, in a David vs. Goliath battle for the ages. Can the Triple M Listeners upset Ditts’ party? Get down to the Airbnb Games Village and watch darts fly!

  • Peter Claridge – 64 years old, shooting-clay target

From 9am @ International Clay Target Club, State Shooting Park, 65 Carmelo Road (previously Park Rd), Buckland Park

Struggling with two back operations, the 64-year-old decided to take up clay target shooting and recently won the SA State Single Barrel title with a score of 70/70.

  • Maria Szczerba – 50 years old, cycling

From 9am @ Road – Talunga Park, Melrose Street, Mount Pleasant

Maria has won 30 medals and competed in cycling, indoor rowing, weights and athletics. This year’s Masters Games will be her fifth.

  • Russell Edwards – 62 years old, baseball

From 12:00 pm @  Adelaide Shores, Military Road, West Beach

Having participated in all 15 editions of the Australian Masters Games, the 62-year-old returns with his team Gold Diggers for another shot at gold.

  • David McLeod – 80 years old, Shooting – Clay Target

Shooting Park, 65 Carmelo Road (previously Park Rd), Buckland Park

Having participated in all 15 editions of the Australian Masters Games, the 80-year-old returns to have another shot at gold.

  • Jennifer Work – 60 years old, Softball Fast Pitch

From TBA  @ Barratt Reserve, West Beach Road, West Beach

Having participated in all 15 editions of the Australian Masters Games, the 60-year-old returns with her team WA Legends for another shot at gold.

  • FINAL DAY – Archery, Badminton, Croquet, Cue Sports, Darts, Golf, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Shooting – Clay Target, Tenpin Bowling

It’s the final day of competition in 10 sports, and you don’t want to miss out. Gold medals and bragging rights will be up for grabs, but participants will need to be at their very best to etch their name in Australian Masters Games history.

  • FIRST DAY – Dragon Boat, Rowing, Table Tennis

It’s the first day of competition in 3 sports. You want to be there from the beginning as Gold medals and bragging rights will be up for grabs, often from the first day of competition.

  • OLDEST ENTRANTS IN ACTION –

Dragon Boat – Tubby Ramsay – 81 years old
8:00am, 8:40am, 10:00am, 2:00pm, 2:40pm, 4:30pm @ Torrens River, Pinky Flat, War Memorial Drive, Adelaide

  • Sound Factory

7pm @ Airbnb Games Village, Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace

Sound Factory is without a doubt one of Adelaide’s premier party bands with strong roots in soul, rock, funk, jazz, pop and groove. Covering classic hits from the ‘60s to current tunes, the Airbnb Games Village will be packed to the rafters for a great night guaranteed!

  • Charity Sponsor: Beyondblue

Beyondblue’s work is aimed at achieving an Australian community that understands depression and anxiety, empowering all Australians, at any life-stage, to seek help. Beyondblue raises awareness, reduces stigma and ensures people have access to the information they need to support recovery, management and resilience.

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.

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