North Shore Times : January 29th 2013
www.northshoretimes.co.nz 23 NORTH SHORE TIMES, JANUARY 29, 2013 SPORT Thousands of athletes over the age of 20 participating in 55 different sports will embrace the competition and camaraderie of the 22nd New Zealand Masters Games which start on February 1 in Whanganui. Sports reporter Felicity Reid catches up with some of the North Shore competitors. Life of saltwater but no rest or rust GAMES VETERAN Still competitive: Torbay sailor Ian MacLennan with his Paper Tiger boat Love Over Gold. Whanganui River is not an easy place to set sail in an 18-year-old homemade Paper Tiger according to long-time Masters Games participant Ian MacLennan. However, challenging tidal conditions aren't enough to keep him away. Since first entering the games during the 1990s the 71-year-old has made the podium many times but it is the friendships made off the water which he says keep him coming back. MacLennan started sail- ing the 14 foot (4.3 metre) Paper Tigers in the late 1970s, won the national title in 1993 and was a regular member of the New Zealand team which took part in the trans-Tasman challenge. Over the years MacLen- nan has made six boats, with the possibility of a seventh on the horizon. This year he will sail in Love Over Gold, the same boat he won the national title in. Sailing is a good sport to be involved in and you can be competitive for quite a long time,'' the Torbay resident says. You make good friends off the water but on the water it is all on.'' MacLennan says the games are an inspirational experience and fit well with his mantra: It is better to wear out than to rust out.'' SPORTING NEW-COMER Keeping active: Northcote's Kay Martin, 92, will attend her first Masters Games this year. Photos: FELICITY REID Kay Martin calls herself a late developer. The sprightly 92-year-old first took up sport seven years ago when she joined the never2old programme at the AUT Akoranga gym. ''I am a bit unique that I hadn't ever been involved in sport,'' the former North Shore Operatic Society member says. The Northcote resident says she can't walk as well as she use to ''but I can do anything sitting down''. Hence this year she will make her games debut when she competes in the over-80 age-group 500m individual indoor row. Martin says she hasn't got her time below 3 minutes and 34 seconds but is hopeful that she could still come away with a gold medal. ''WhenIwasinmy80sIwas stronger and more vigorous,'' she says. After 40 years teaching yoga around the Shore, Martin stopped taking classes just last year but still regularly does the exercises herself. ''I am very lucky I don't have arthritic joints which I think is partly through yoga and my genes.'' Martin says while she can still keep moving, she will. New era: Racewalker Deborah Nesti will join her parents in Team Nesti as they take the games by storm. FOR THE FAMILY The games couldn't have come at a more stressful time and she's not as ready as she would like -- but nothing will stop Deborah Nesti from competing. The mother-of-two let her fitness slip while she raised her children and ran her business but now she is at a stage in her life when she wants to do things for herself. Last year in Dunedin she entered the games for the first time and came away with a gold medal in each of her three events. This year the 47-year-old has upped the ante and will compete in six events in eight days including the 5km, 10km and 21km roadwalks, the 6km cross country walk, 3km track walk and the stair challenge. Nesti says she isn't a shoe-in for another golden medal haul because she will have some strong competition from Whanganui locals in her age-group who will be keen to sweep the medals on their patch. The games are one of the few events which acknowledge race walkers and are strict on the rules, she says. Nesti will have plenty of support. Her parents are making the trip across from Australia not only to cheer her on but also compete themselves. Her dad, who is a former marine, will take part in the shooting and her mum, who is also a keen walker, has entered the 5km event, together the trio will form Team Nesti. GREAT SPORTS The biggest sport at the Masters Games is football followed by netball and road runs and walks. Sports like bocce, dog-handling, gymnastics, softball and the Twilight 400 will have more competitors than ever before in 2013. Wanganui is the largest contributor to entries this year, followed by Manawatu, Wellington and Auckland. Significantly more women than men have entered. Go to nzmg.com. to find out more.
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