Around the Traps

Tassie Bovines

There’s no bull about the Tassie Bovines. The badminton team was formed in 1999 to compete in the 2000 Games. This year’s flag bearer Clinton Badger was part of that original team. In 2016, team members have created names to go with the bovine theme including Luv ‘A’ Bull and Mad Cow.

Damien Smith

Damien Smith ran in the 2014 Games athletics events while undergoing treatment for cancer. He was keen to come back in 2016 to do better but sadly lost his battle early in 2015. Instead His father Ray – a former Alice Springs Running and Walking club member – has paid tribute to his son and entered in Damien’s memory.

Mini Masters

It was netball with a difference last night when Cocktails took on Mini Masters in the over 35 social competition. Mini Masters is an A-grade team and shouldn’t really have been playing … but the Cocktails outsmarted them by rallying players from other teams. The Cocktails ended up with a team of 14 on the court!

Ian Richter

It’s never been about medals for Ian Richter, who has participated in all 16 Games in Road and Cross Country without ever getting up on the podium. But the drought was broken yesterday morning when he received the bronze medal in the 10km run. Participation and perseverance pays off!

Betty Gillespie

Betty Gillespie has not only handed down her love of badminton to daughter Donna Kerr but the tradition of competing at the Alice Springs Masters Games. The 84-year-old is attending her second Games.  Betty introduced her children to badminton and Donna really excelled. She went on to play in the Western Australian State Championships as an under 17, under 21 and for four years as a senior.

Jim falls asleep

It’s been a long week for competitors and staff. Games Manager Jim Lawrie has had many 4am starts and late finishes. It all caught up with him on Wednesday afternoon though. He thought he’d take the official Games ute to be washed. But the gentle rocking of the automated car wash was his undoing. Jim nodded off … and was only woken by the sound of a car horn behind him.

Queens of the Desert

The Queens of the Desert are putting in a sterling effort, refereeing more than 36 basketball games so far between them … and some of them are playing as well – in two teams no less! Now that’s dedication.

Ben Gooley

Alice Springs mountain biker Ben Gooley has been a standout performer at these Games, taking out gold in the 30-34 age group in every race he’s entered. The tally is at 5 with still more races to go.

Viagra Hawks

We pass this tidbit on without comment … the Viagra Hawks baseball team has apparently not washed the jockstrap worn over the catcher’s pants for many a year … the rumour is that it may have been 2009 ….

Hugh Round

You won’t see this every day. Alice Springs man Hugh Round is competing in his first Masters Games and in his first attempt at orienteering. He added an extra challenge for himself – taking 17-month old Louis along for the ride. The toddler weighs in at about 15kg but fell asleep during the outing, forcing Hugh to slow down for the bigger rocks so as not wake the youngster. Oh, to be 36 again and fit enough to cart an extra 15kg around while competing!

GapView Cocktails

It is a time-honoured tradition in major sporting contests for teams to exchange gifts before the Games and most netball teams have adopted the practice. Usually, it’s a simple trinket or something similar. The GapView Cocktails team took things to a new level with their gift of a cocktail, complete with straw and stubby holder. One of the delectable drinks was called Hell on Wheels.

Alice Springs Golf Club

You have to feel for the golfers playing at the Alice Springs Golf Club. It’s breeding season for the local plovers who are dive-bombing participants they believe pose a threat to their young. There have been some agitated golfers doing some jerky arm waving moves in response. Best way to stop the problem is to move in groups or wear a hat and sunglasses.

Cam Wilkie

We like a man who’s not afraid to express his feminine side. Games competitor Cam Wilkie of Western Australia, donned a bright shade of fuschia pink lipstick to pucker up with Michelle McNeill for breast cancer awareness month.

James Perrin Golfing Episode

Games staffer James Perrin was not so happy at the golf yesterday. While filming a segment for the Games Video Diary, James, who was innocently sitting in a golf buggy, was on the receiving end of a flying golf ball. The whack to his calf was loud enough to register on the camera recording. He was not amused by the egg sized lump left behind but videographer Shane Mulcahy couldn’t help but laugh.

Sharon ‘Chook’ Roberts

Sharon ‘Chook’ Roberts was one happy golfer yesterday. After hitting a straight shot over the bunker on the third, the ball couldn’t be found on the green or over the back. A little jig was danced after Chook found the ball at the bottom of the cup!

Johnann Harris

The world is truly a small place. Johnann Harris, who is from South Australia, and Western Australian Dot Shipard met at these Games. They got chatting and discovered their kids coached the Australian softball team at the recent Rio Paralymics.

Hedda Ed and Neil Tranthem

The Friendly Games are living up their reputation. Long-term locals Hedda Ed and Neil Tranthem of the SANFU darts team are tying the knot this weekend. Together for 21 years, the couple announced their engagement on Monday and will marry on Sunday, ensuring their nuptials will not interfere with their Masters Games commitments. Good to see they have their priorities right.

36 Basketball

The Queens of the Desert are putting in a sterling effort, refereeing more than 36 basketball games so far between them … and some of them are playing as well – in two teams no less! Now that’s dedication.

Queen of the desert

The Queens of the Desert are putting in a sterling effort, refereeing more than 36 basketball games so far between them … and some of them are playing as well – in two teams no less! Now that’s dedication.

Mountain Kiker Ben Gooley

Alice Springs mountain biker Ben Gooley has been a standout performer at these Games, taking out gold in the 30-34 age group in every race he’s entered. The tally is at 5 with still more races to go.

Viagra Hawks

We pass this tidbit on without comment … the Viagra Hawks baseball team has apparently not washed the jockstrap worn over the catcher’s pants for many a year … the rumour is that it may have been 2009 ….

Hugh Round

You won’t see this every day. Alice Springs man Hugh Round is competing in his first Masters Games and in his first attempt at orienteering. He added an extra challenge for himself – taking 17-month old Louis along for the ride. The toddler weighs in at about 15kg but fell asleep during the outing, forcing Hugh to slow down for the bigger rocks so as not wake the youngster. Oh, to be 36 again and fit enough to cart an extra 15kg around while competing!

GapView Cocktails

It is a time-honoured tradition in major sporting contests for teams to exchange gifts before the Games and most netball teams have adopted the practice. Usually, it’s a simple trinket or something similar. The GapView Cocktails team took things to a new level with their gift of a cocktail, complete with straw and stubby holder. One of the delectable drinks was called Hell on Wheels.

Plovers dive bombing

You have to feel for the golfers playing at the Alice Springs Golf Club. It’s breeding season for the local plovers who are dive-bombing participants they believe pose a threat to their young. There have been some agitated golfers doing some jerky arm waving moves in response. Best way to stop the problem is to move in groups or wear a hat and sunglasses.

Paul ‘Sweety’ Hinkly

There’s obviously a curse on hockey player Paul ‘Sweety’ Hinkly. He’s managed to get injured in his first Alice Springs Masters Games match three Games in a row. At least he’s consistent!

Netball lights problem

There was a problem with the lights at netball on Monday night – they went out and officials could not get them to fire up again. Fortunately electrician Veng Rogers was getting ready to play eightball across the road at Club Eastside. In the true Friendly Games spirit, he interrupted his preparations and solved the problem so all the games could go ahead in good time. Unfortunately, the interruption may have put him off his own game – he lost.

Sports Centre Merchandise

If you haven’t managed to make it to the Games Centre on the Town Council Lawns to get your merchandise, you might be able to catch Sports Centre reps at your event. The team have been taking a mobile booth with their wares around to various venues. In three days they’ve been at seven different sports and will be at Touch at Flynn Park this afternoon. They’ll also be at the Midweek Party tonight. 

Newspapers were offloaded to make way for bikes and golf bags

Some interstate visitors were amused after discovering the Weekend Australian was not available in newsagencies on Saturday. Seems the newspapers were offloaded to make way for bikes and golf bags being transported to Alice Springs for Games participants. Despite the lack of papers, sales of other items were up by 30%.

Disaster struck for mountain biker Matt Saint

How’s this for bad luck? Disaster struck for mountain biker Matt Saint during the cross country night race at the Telegraph Station on Sunday. He got a flat tyre late in the second lap and had to run back to the start – finish line to get it fixed. Two laps later, disaster struck again and he got another flat. Saint was the last rider out on course and he ran back to the finish line carrying his bike on his shoulder. After such a tough night, it was great to see the crowd cheering him over the line.

Federal team loss

The longest undefeated run in the Alice Springs Masters Games cricket competition has come to an end. The Federal team were hoping for a fifth consecutive gold medal but were defeated for the first time in 10 years. The Queensland/NSW team Syndicate scored 4/153 and then held Federal to 3/124 in the seven-a-side, 14-over competition. Federal still have a chance to win gold if they make the semi finals on Friday morning and the grand final in the afternoon.

Steak sanger

If you want get a great feed for a good price, get down to the hockey where a steak sandwich the size of a plate is going for $6. You can get onions and sauce added for no extra cost.

Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan

All that early morning dog walking is paying off for the Alice Springs Mayor Damien Ryan. He strode across the line yesterday in a time of 46:25:07 to take out the gold in the 5km walk for the men’s 60-64 age group.  Great to be leading by example.

A flock of pied butcherbirds took offence – drone

The beautiful aerial imagery on the Games website and the video diary playing on the big screen at the Town Council Lawns has been provided via a camera drone. But it seems not everyone appreciates our efforts. A flock of pied butcherbirds took offence and attacked the drone as it was filming over Anzac Hill.

80+ women playing singles tennis

Kudos to the five 80+ women playing singles tennis. We salute you!

Fiona and Kevin Coyle

Now this is dedication! Alice Springs’ leading triathletes have jetted in from competing in the World Ironman Championships at Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Fiona and Kevin Coyle competed in the gruelling 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42.2km run in respectable times. But there won’t be any rest for the star couple as they’ll be out at the 10km walk tomorrow – as officials – and may yet compete in the Games triathlon on Saturday. Whew! What a great way to finish the week.

Carly Clyant

The Games staff like to not only talk the talk but walk the walk. Games Sports Coordinator Carly Clyant won the women’s 25-29 year old, 100m freestyle in a time of 1 minute 17 seconds. She also took out the silver in the 50m butterfly in 32:29.

William Gamble

Ingenuity is alive and well at the Games. William Gamble, from Darwin, is participating in a number of sports during the Games but he’s found he has some spare time on his hands. Yesterday he set up a stand in the Coles Shopping Centre carpark offering his services as a handyman – and did some quotes for residents in the afternoon. “It gives me something to do and helps defray the costs of coming to the Games,” he said. “I’m experienced in building and can do gutter cleaning and repairs, general gardening and shed construction.” Gamble is competing in the athletics road walk and the cross country, lawn bowls, triathlon and duathlon.

Gerihatrics

There are always innovative and interesting team names at the Games. The wittiest we’ve come across so far is a team in the football (soccer) competition.  They’ve adopted the name Gerihatrics. If anyone else can beat that, we’d love to hear from you on 0401 119467.

Golfer Raymond Plummer

The Games continue to bring the best out of our athletes. On Friday, Golfer Raymond Plummer from Grange in South Australia, hit a hole in one on the fifth at the Alice Springs Golf Club.

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner

It’s official! The NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner was being interviewed on local radio station 8HA yesterday when he commented that 2016 was the first time the Games were not clashing with Legislative Assembly Sittings. He committed to ensuring the Games and Sittings don’t clash again in 2018. Can’t get any more confirmation of the Games’ future than that!

Whip cracking prowess

Still on yesterday’s Opening Ceremony march and the equestrian competitors were fierce this year. They were showing their girl power by keeping other participants in line with their whip cracking prowess. No messing around with these girls fellas, get too close and you won’t forget it, Ouch!

The Mt Isa Granites team

The Opening Ceremony march traditionally provides a lot of colour, with many participants really embracing the spirit of the Friendly Games and dressing up. The Mt Isa Granites team always impresses with their costumes. This year they were dressed in blow-up sumo wrestler suits. But one poor competitor arrived late to the parade looking a bit let down  – her suit had deflated.

The Babes and Bowls

It was all happening at the lawn bowls yesterday. The Babes and Bowls women’s lawn bowls team were so hot they cut off their shorts and then the sleeves from their shirts. The girls made the emergency alterations while standing on the side of the green. It seems some of the other competitors were not amused.

Les Garraway

Radio personality and sports buff Les Garraway comes out of retirement for every Games to lend his silky chords to the airwaves, interviewing a host of athletes, volunteers and VIPs for the local station 8HA. He is a stalwart of the Games staff but often turns up with some part of his body in a bandage or sling. When deciding the colour of the staff shirts this year, someone quipped that we should check what type of injury Les has so we can colour coordinate with his bandage. Luckily it hasn’t mattered – Les is injury free in 2016.

93-year-old Nancy Ayres

Those regular Games attendees will remember 93-year-old Nancy Ayres who has been at every Games since they started in 1986. The inspirational swimmer has had to miss her first Games because the gutsy nonagenarian has just had a hip replacement. We wish Nancy well and hope to see her at the next Games in 2018.

Games last year?

Another perennial rumour doing the rounds is that the Games is in its last year.  With nearly 4000 participants and 800 volunteers, it would be a brave move to end such an iconic and long-running event.

Jim retiring?

The rumour mill has started already! Imagine the shock when Alice Springs Masters Games Manager Jim Lawrie took a phone call three days before the Games started from a concerned participant wanting to know if it was true that he’d resigned. The same rumour dogs Jim every Games but rest assured – Jim is going nowhere.