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Australian Masters Games – for champions who are young at heart

The Australian Masters Games has been described by former cricketer Ian Healy as “like schoolies for the over 30s”.

Mar 16, 2023, updated Mar 16, 2023
Mike Smithson, Rachael Sporn, Jane Woodlands-Thompson and Aurelio Vidmar in Adelaide

Mike Smithson, Rachael Sporn, Jane Woodlands-Thompson and Aurelio Vidmar in Adelaide

The week-long sporting festival is returning to Adelaide in 2023 and this year will be bigger than ever, with more than 10,000 participants and their support crews set to take part in 50 plus sports.

The event will be held from October 7-14, and SkyCity has signed on as the Village Naming Rights sponsor.

SkyCity Village will be located at Festival Plaza at the Riverbank Precinct in the heart of Adelaide, with boutique restaurants and bars nearby, and wine regions on the city’s doorstep.

Adelaide’s Riverbank and Festival Centre by night

During the day, participants can enjoy a packed entertainment program. By night, SkyCity Village will transform with pop-up bars, delicious food stops, music and entertainment into party central.

Games general manager Jane Woodlands-Thompson said people loved reigniting old rivalries, and this year there will be challenges between intrastate and interstate schools.

Woodlands-Thompson said, “Sport is synonymous with rivalries – whether it’s between corporate giants, the Big Four banks, law firms nationally or neighbouring Masters sports clubs.

“Whether teams are passionate about winning, or, simply having a go, catching up on the field and afterwards to share an anecdote or two with mates – current and long-lost – it will be well worth heading to Adelaide for.”

She encourages participants to reach out to their rivals and throw down the challenge to face off again at the Games.

“I’m still in touch with a lot of my former netball team-mates and we all still have white line fever, reuniting for the Games gives us that chance to give it another crack and re-live the glory days.”

Swimming is one of 50+ sports at this year’s event

Brisbane-born, former Australian cricketer Ian Healy is getting behind the Games and has previously competed in other Masters competitions, playing golf.

Alongside the competition, he described Masters competitions as “like schoolies for the over 30s”.

His advice to participants is to book accommodation near the Festival Plaza if possible.

“All those hotels are right there – stay close, as you’ll enjoy every night in the village,” Healy said.

The 119-game Australian wicket-keeper believes it is important to stay fit and healthy as people age, and getting involved in Masters competitions enables people to be competitive, no matter what their age.

The Australian Masters Games will welcome teams and competitors from New Zealand and other neighbouring countries, with strong interest already registered from Canada, USA, Singapore and Ireland.

Woodlands-Thompson said one of the great things about the Masters Games is that there are no qualification standards. Anyone who wants to compete is welcome, whether they are locals, or from interstate or overseas.

Registrations are open now for more than 30 sports with another 20 to be added in the coming weeks. Participants can choose from traditional sports such as softball, touch, rugby, basketball, netball and bowls or a newcomer like yoga sports or pickleball.

“Once you choose a sport, or two … individuals and teams will have seven months to work on getting into shape to put their best self forward,” Woodlands-Thompson said.

For interstate and international visitors, the Games team will assist in putting together personalised itineraries for participants to make the most of their stay and see the best of what South Australia has to offer.

Find out more, register and take advantage of VIP GOLD benefits.

See some of what awaits in Adelaide.

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