Australian Masters Games

South Australia’s royal Richie Alagich shifts states on day four

Tina Fong - 6 October 2015

South Australia’s royal Richie Alagich shifts states on day four

Some cross-border football rivalry, a few nostalgic basketball names and Canberra’s oldest yet finest netballers headlined day four of the 15th Australian Masters Games.

A South Australian by birth, former Adelaide United star Richie Alagich did away with state ties to don the big V as a member of Victorian over 35 team – the Melbourne Buffer

Australian Masters Games ambassador for football here in Adelaide, Alagich is full of admiration for the players around him.

"They are all here to have fun, enjoy the game and meet new people," he said. 

Alagich made a number of attendances for the under 20 and under 23 Australian squads and played for the Reds at home in South Australia from the club’s inception until his retirement from professional football in 2008. The competitive drive was still there though, however, and Alagich joined local team the Adelaide Raiders for another two season before retiring from football in 2010.

The 41-year-old admits the game can start to pass you by as the years roll on, but that’s no excuse for not getting out there and doing what you love.

“You lose momentum and you have an inability to change direction quickly," laughed Alagich.

“But we’re all just enjoying football, enjoying each other’s company, and trying not to take it all too seriously.”

His team, the Melbourne Buffer, are a group of expatriate South Africans from Melbourne and Sydney, and are enjoying the spoils of their star recruit.

"We never thought we would play with someone from such a high level. He’s slotted in well and really is a part of our team," said 50-year-old Buffer player Adrian Lewis.

The Buffer had a 6-0 win in today’s match, and said their first experience at the Masters has been first class.

From elsewhere around the grounds, the Wayville Sports Centre was graced with greatness of its own as former Boomer Mike McKay and his merry band of Australian all-stars hit the court.

Even their opposition were dishing out high fives following some outstanding plays from the Steelers in the men’s 50+ basketball competition.

The former NBL star and Olympic representative led his team in scoring as they defeated the Myths and Legends 43-35.

Starring alongside McKay in the win was Peter Dawe, who has formerly played alongside McKay in the NBL with the West Adelaide Bearcats. Other former NBL players among the Steelers’ three teams include Graham KubankDarren Breeding and Matthew Buck.

The Steelers have entered teams in the 45+, 50+ and 55+ age groups, all of which are undefeated so far through three days of play.

The three teams are comprised of friends who have met and played together since their junior district basketball careers at various clubs, such as Sturt Sabres, North Adelaide Rockets and West Adelaide Bearcats. As their junior and senior careers wound down, the men have kept playing together regularly in Masters competitions both locally, interstate and internationally.

As proven time and time again at the Australian Masters Games, age is nothing more than a number. For 76-year-old netballer Theresa van Heuzen, truer words have not been spoken.

Goal shooter for the Canberra Classics and the Games’ oldest netballer, her focus is to live a life worth living.

In 1953, van Heuzen migrated from Holland to Australia as a 15-year-old, and promptly signed up for the school basketball team. But it wasn’t for some twenty-six years that she would discover a passion for netball.

From playing on a team with her four daughters whilst they themselves were at school, van Heuzen and some team mates formed the Canberra Classics in 2001, and have never looked back.

“It’s something exciting to do every year, a chance to all get together,” van Heuzen said.

“We heard about the Masters Games and thought, well let’s go and give it a try.”

The Games provide a platform through which adult Australians can compete, socialise and enjoy sport, and with her team mates stemming from all walks of life, van Heuzen believes it’s that sense of companionship which brings the Classics back time and time again.

“We have been together for a long time. We play together every week at home, and we’ll usually go out for coffee afterwards too.”

It’s been a successful Australian Masters Games journey for the van Heuzen and her Canberra classics, having won six gold medals, five silver and six bronze across eight Games.

Highlights and points of interest for Wednesday 7 October:

  • SPECIAL EVENT: Australian Masters Games all-star curtain for the Adelaide 36ers

5pm @ Titanium Arena – 44a Crittenden Road, Findon

In a special, one-off event for the 15th Australian Masters Games, a host of Olympians and former NBL-stars will blow out the cobwebs at Titanium Arena, for the Adelaide 36ers’ season opener against the New Zealand Breakers. It’s the Chris Anstey-led HasBeens and Jason Dix’s WTBC, and will be sure to surprise.

  • Kris Apps – 69 years old, indoor rowing

10:30am @ Games Village - Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide

After an accident in 1987 which left her in a wheelchair, Kris Apps refuses to let anything stop her. She’s swam in five Australian Masters Games and two World Masters Games, as well as holding several state records, and will go for gold yet again.

  • Brad Jackson – 54 years old, rowing

10:50am @ Games Village - Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide

The 54-year-old from South Australia has been playing gridiron for 25 years and has taken part in numerous international games. He has competed in the Australian Masters Games since 2007 but has taken up rowing as it’s gentler on the knees.

  • Craig Trewartha – 65-years-old, basketball
    3pm @ Pasadena School, Corner of Daws and Goodwood Roads, Pasadena

Having participated in all 15 editions of the Australian Masters Games, the 65-year-old returns with his team the Bankstown Bruins for another shot at gold.

  • Chris Sargent – 67 years old, basketball

11am @ Pasadena School, Corner of Daws and Goodwood Roads, Pasadena

5pm @ Wayville Sports Centre, 142 Rose Terrace, Wayville

Another to have participated in all 15 editions of the Australian Masters Games, the 67-year-old returns with team Territory in toe, hoping for a win.

  • Ev Ottley – 69 years old, basketball

11am @ Pasadena School, Corner of Daws and Goodwood Roads, Pasadena

5pm @ Wayville Sports Centre, 142 Rose Terrace, Wayville

69-year-old Ev Ottley has enjoyed every Australian Masters Games to date, and is back once again for another game of hoops.

  • Russell Edwards – 62 years old, baseball

2:30pm @  Adelaide Shores, Military Road, West Beach

He’s brought his catching mitt and bat to all 15 Australian Masters Games, and will be hoping for a home run here in Adelaide.

  • David McLeod – 80 years old, Shooting – Clay Target

Time TBA @ Shooting Park, 65 Carmelo Road (previously Park Rd), Buckland Park

80-year-old David McLeod is a sharp shooter from New South Wales, and will have gold in his sights at his 15th Australian Masters Games.

  • Jennifer Work – 60 years old, Softball Fast Pitch

11am @ Barratt Reserve, West Beach Road, West Beach

60-year-old Jennifer Work knows how to get the job done, and is back for 15th Australian Masters Games in softball.

  • FINAL DAY – futsal, rowing indoor, tennis

Futsal @ Parks Recreation and Sports Centre, 46 Cowan Street, Angle Park

Rowing Indoor @ Games Village, Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide

Tennis @ Tennis Seniors South Park Complex, Greenhill Road, Adelaide

It’s the final day of competition in three sports, and you don’t want to miss out. Gold medals and bragging rights will be up for grabs, but participants will need to be at their very best to etch their name in Australian Masters Games history.

  • FIRST DAY – shooting – clay target, touch football, volley ball - beach

Shooting – Clay Target @ Shooting Park, 65 Carmelo Road, Buckland Park

Touch Football @ City Touch Club, corner Greenhill and Beaumont Roads, Eastwood

Volley Ball - Beach @ Adelaide City Beach, 213 Pirie Street, Adelaide

It’s the first day of competition in three sports. You’ll want to be there right from the word go as participants and their teams start their journey to gold medal glory.

  • Mid-week Party – feat. Mix 102.3’s Jodie Oddy for the McGrath Foundation & 100% Kylie

7pm @ Airbnb Games Village, Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace

Featuring the ‘100% Kylie Stage Show Spectacular’ – it’s a tribute to the princess of pop with full scale production. Participants will be decked out head to toe in pink and spinnin’ around. Mix 102.3’s Jodie Oddy will be our Games special guest.

  • Charity Sponsor: McGrath Foundation

The McGrath Foundation’s vision is to ensure every Australian family experiencing breast cancer has access to a breast cancer nurse regardless of where they live, or their financial situation.

Oldest participants in action on day five:

  • Futsal – Headley Bennett – 65 years old – Team: Beechworth EST

From 7:40 pm @ Parks Recreation and Sports Centre, 46 Cowan Street, Angle Park

  • Tenpin Bowling – Sally Hopton  – 80 years old (Mixed Doubles)
    From 9:00 am @ AMF Bowling Woodville, 819 Port Road, Woodville
  • Softball Fast Pitch – Lorraine Page – 77 years old – Team: WA Legends

From 11:00 am @ Barratt Reserve, West Beach Road, West Beach

The 15th Australian Masters Games are underway 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.

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