16 September 2013
86-year-old race walker Heather Lee is preparing for an assault on the Australian Masters Games in Geelong next month and is looking to break some world records in the process.
Lee, from Richmond in New South Wales, will be amongst the oldest competitors at the Games, yet also one of the least experienced.
Taking up the sport of race walking competitively just two years ago at the age of 84, Lee has gone on to break numerous Australian records and is the current world record holder for the three-kilometre and five-kilometre walks in the 85-90 age group.
What started as a hobby has stirred up the competitive juices for the great grandmother who took to the sport ‘like a duck to water’ and will compete in the 3,000m and 5,000m track and 10km road race walk events at the Australian Masters Games.
“I joined a walking group in my 70’s, and quickly realised I was a bit quicker and fitter than most,” Lee said.
“I’ve done the Relay-For-Life and we raised about $80,000 so I’ve been able to put my walking to good use.
“I started doing the City-to-Surf and other fun runs and got hooked. Then two years ago it was suggested I try race walking.
“It wasn’t until I turned up to the start line that I realised what I actually had to do, and the rules of keeping your knee’s locked out and what not.”
This year will be Lee’s second Australian Masters Games, having competed in Adelaide in 2011 where she took gold in all four walking events. Although the lure of breaking another world record will be close, Lee is just as satisfied enjoying the company of other like-minded people, where age is forgotten about.
“It’s a bit like we are all kindred spirits,” Lee added.
Proving that ‘life gets better with age’, Lee will to join up to 8,000 participants across 50 sports including athletics, basketball and golf through to drilldance and dragon boat in Geelong.
The Australian Masters Games, held from Saturday 5 to Saturday 12 October, is one of Australia’s largest multi sporting events. Entertainment and social activities including an opening and closing ceremony ensure it’s an event anyone 30 years and older should tick off their bucket list.
Mental as Anything and James Reyne will star at the opening ceremony whilst Pseudo Echo will headline the ‘Funky Town’ 80’s themed closing ceremony.
For further Australian Masters Games information and to register, visit www.AustralianMastersGames.com.
2019 marks Carol Redford's 30th anniversary as an Australian Masters Games volunteer. She's volunteered in every Games that have taken place in Adelaide and is back again for the seventh time.
For Australian Masters Games participant Kerryn Conabere 2019 marks her 50th consecutive year of playing netball and her sixth straight Australian Masters Games. One of her highlights of all her years on the court, is playing on the same team as all four of her daughters.
Gold entries close on Wednesday 1 May. That's right, Gold entries close this week. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!