Jahan Emery - 4 October 2015
Brighton High School is hosting 90 participants in 18 teams playing volleyball, one of the 49 sports at the Australian Masters Games.
Walking into the stadium on Sunday there was a sense of both fun and competitiveness, with participants making spectacular plays to try and keep the ball alive while also laughing off mistakes, highlighting the social aspect of the games.
Anne-Marie McAinsh, from Myrtle Bank, is a participant this year and has come out of retirement for the Australian Masters Games after having been involved in volleyball for 36 years.
“The Australian Masters Games has been a great opportunity to reunite and socialise with past teammates”, said McAinsh.
“In our team we have one girl who I played with when I started my State League career, and two girls who I played with at the end of it”.
McAinsh said that her strong involvement in coaching had kept her skills to a reasonable standard for the Australian Masters Games.
“I’m not in the best shape at the moment, but constant coaching has helped keep my muscle memory when it comes to performing the basic skills,” said McAinsh.
“It has just been great having the opportunity to play again with my old friends and teammates”.
When asked how she is still involved in the sport she simply said, “How am I not involved?”
She began playing when she was sixteen years old and has since represented many teams at a range of different levels.
“I’ve played for South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) teams, Austral Phoenix in South Australia’s State League competition, and also in many, many social teams”, said McAinsh.
Since beginning her work with Volleyball SA, McAinsh has not looked back and is now the General Manager.
“When I left my main job with Telstra after twenty-two years I asked myself what my biggest passions were, and I decided they were coaching and volleyball. I then volunteered at Volleyball SA for a month and a half, then was offered a job”, said McAinsh.
McAinsh and her family are also still strongly involved with their local State League club, Austral Phoenix.
“I am still an Austral committee member, and my husband Craig is the secretary of the club”, said McAinsh.
“I met Craig through mutual friends in the volleyball community, and he and my two sons play for Austral”.
McAinsh is particularly proud of her oldest son Conal who is involved in the Australian junior volleyball program.
“Conal has moved to Canberra to follow his dream of one day representing Australia’s senior men’s team. I’m a very proud parent”, said McAinsh.
The Australian Masters Games have provided McAinsh with a platform to relive her glory days in a sport that her whole family has bonded over for many years.
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We're heading west! The next Australian Masters Games will take place in Perth in 2021.