Nicole Wedding - 7 October 2015
He has a wealth of experience but croquet star, Russell Kopp, still has faces the challenge of overcoming nerves.
“I’m an extremely nervous person. Particularly if I’m playing in doubles, where you do have a partner,” says the Tea Tree Gully club member.
But the struggle has not been without reward.
Now in his twenty-second year playing the sport, Kopp has a number of accolades to his name, including wins at the last Australian Masters Games, “I won three gold medals a couple of years ago.”
“I won the association singles with a fellow from Tasmania, who was a blind partner; we won the handicapped doubles. I was playing golf croquet, too, and I won the gold medal in that.”
“This year I’m just playing association croquet, because the golf croquet people have improved so much over the years - which has been good for our sport,” he adds.
This year’s Australian Masters Games sees more than 10,000 people participating in 49 sports, and is regarded as one of the premier and largest mass-participation events on the Australian sporting landscape.
The Games aim to promote the benefits of long-term health and wellbeing, as well as providing a platform through which adult Australians can compete, socialise and enjoy sport.
“I was looking for something to do in retirement,” Kopp says, “so I just started croquet at the Tea Tree Gully club, and I’ve been there all the time.”
For Kopp, the highlight has been the games’ friendly spirit.
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.
We're heading west! The next Australian Masters Games will take place in Perth in 2021.
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