By Tina Fong - 6 October 2015
More than ten thousand participants are taking part in the 2015 Australian Masters Games in Adelaide and among them is 48-year-old American, Chet Pickens, who has travelled almost 16 thousand kilometres to fight. The Chicago native has also picked up his first boxing gold medal in the 69-75kg middle weight category.
The artist and bus driver had only heard good things about Australia and it prompted him to board a plane to come fight downunder, “I heard the Aussies were good people and I thought this was a good opportunity to go to an event and do something different.”
Whilst ecstatic with his gold, the American has a far greater reason for travelling such a long distance to take part, “I want to take a message back to my country to say stop the violence. I have come to Australia to fight but it is done without guns. I go in the ring and we have fisticuffs, we win or lose and then we go out and have fun”.
For Chet, boxing in Adelaide has been a revelation, “it’s similar to being at home but minus the threat of gangs and violence.” He says that the fellow sportspeople he has met at the Masters Games have shown there is no need to fear losing but to just go out and give it your best shot.
The boxer plans to talk to schools, the children on his bus, and sporting clubs about the need to stop the violence on the street and to show that they too can travel the world and meet new people through boxing. As he says, we can fight all we like in the ring, but once we are out of it, then we should be able to shake hands.”
Chet says he is loving the Masters Games and meeting so many new people and he is looking forward to seeing his first kangaroo whilst in Australia!
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, taking part in more than 49 sports.
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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Marion’s Fitness and Leisure centre was packed on the last day of the Australian Masters Games with many gymnasts putting their skills to the test.