4 July 2019
80-year-old South Australian retiree, Mick Hunt is prepped and primed for the powerlifting competition at the 17th Australian Masters Games, taking place in Adelaide from 5 – 12 October this year.
Mick has been powerlifting at his local gym for 67 years, although this Games will mark his triumphant return to competition after a 50 year hiatus when he steps up for the bench press event in the 60kg weight class for the 80+ age category.
“As long as I’m alive, I’m there,” Mick enthused.
It’s not the first sport that comes to mind when you think of retirees, but it is a sport that Mick is passionate about, having first started pumping iron as a young teen in England. He is living proof of the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle and is a role model for his three sons and eight grandchildren, with his three-times per week training regime.
Mick’s got big goals for the 17th Australian Masters Games, which he didn’t shy away from at the official launch of the Games in his hometown today.
“I want to do well obviously. I’m probably close to an Australian record, which would be very nice. But it all depends on the day, doesn’t it?”
“It’s a bit of an ego thing,” Mick said.
In three months' time the whistle will blow, the gun will fire, the siren will sound and Mick along with 8,000+ other weekend warriors will be underway across 51 sports for the 17th edition of the Australian Masters Games.
And when the sun goes down, the band will play across the eight-day festival, which is renowned for it’s social program almost as much as the sports program.
The Australian Masters Games aims to promote the benefits of long-term health and wellbeing by providing a platform through which adult Australians can get active, and socialise through sport.
South Australia is the spiritual home of the Games, and 2019 will be the seventh time Adelaide has hosted the biannual festival.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway, said the Marshall Liberal Government was delighted to welcome the Australian Masters Games and its 10,000 participants, volunteers and spectators to South Australia.
“We look forward to once again hosting this world-class event that will attract thousands of participants from interstate and around the world, and inject more than $12 million into the state’s visitor economy,” said Minister Ridgway.
“The Australian Masters Games creates enormous buzz and excitement in our city and will have significant positive flow-on economic benefits for hotels, restaurants and local retailers. We encourage all our visitors to extend their stay in South Australia and head out into our regions to experience all our wonderful state has to offer."
Organisationally, the Games are tracking well with entries on target to exceed the 7,910 event participants from 2015 (the last time the Games were held in Adelaide). 75% of the entries received to date come from interstaters or international competitors from 17 different countries. A team of sport convenors and volunteers are preparing to deliver the 51 sports, being held across over 70 of Adelaide’s finest sports venues. Some strong event partnerships are also in place to add to the participant experience, including:
Games general manager Gary O’Donnell encouraged anyone over the age of 30 years to consider participation in this year’s event, and local businesses to get behind the Games.
“It’s never too late to get back into the sport you enjoyed as a youngster, or take up a brand new sport that you’ve never tried before,” O’Donnell said.
“The only criteria to participation are that you meet the minimum age limit, which in most sports is 30-years. We have entrants of all standards and abilities, and many who come just for the social occasion.”
“We encourage all South Australians, including local businesses, to get behind the Games by putting together a team and signing up for one of the many sports on offer,” O’Donnell said.
Participants can access the reduced Games entry fee of $110 through the Early Bird entry period, which extends to Friday 2 August. Enter now at www.AustralianMastersGames.com
The Australian Masters Games is proudly sponsored by the South Australian Tourism Commission through Events South Australia.
If you’re looking for a sport to participate it, Bocce could be it! Or if you’re already attending the Games for another sport, consider Bocce as a fun additional activity.
North Avoca’s Kathy Dobak is travelling to Adelaide for some family time, fitness and fun on the water as a first time participant in the 17th Australian Masters Games in Adelaide this October.
Co-host of Seven Network’s Sunrise, Port Adelaide chairman and avid sports fan David Koch is trading in his business suit for active wear as the official ambassador for the 17th Australian Masters Games.