Competitor Profile – Maisie Austin AOM, ASM
When did you start playing basketball?
I commenced my Basketball career in the Darwin Basketball Association competition in 1963, have played every season since then, and represented Darwin and the Northern Territory at intra-state, interstate and overseas championships and carnivals, as a player, coach and referee. I am still currently playing in the Darwin Basketball Association competition 53 years later, aged 67.
When did you first compete at the Alice Springs Masters Games?
I was coach/player of the Darwin women’s team which participated at what was then the Centralian Masters Games in Alice Springs in 1986. There was only one division, Over 35s, and in that first Masters Games, there were only four women’s teams – Darwin, Western Australia and two from Alice Springs.
We had the honour of winning the first ever Masters Games gold medal for basketball at those Games. We played against WA and won the game on the final buzzer. We were ably supported on the sidelines by swimming legend Dawn Fraser!
Six of the original players from the 1986 team (pictured above) -myself, Lorraine Adams, Shirley Lew Fatt, Ev Ottley, Helen Lyle and Chris Sargent – made up the nucleus of the Darwin teams which participated at every Masters Games in Alice Springs from 1986 – 2014.
What is your highlight of the Alice Springs Masters?
At one of the Games in Alice Springs, a men’s team decided to stop their game, brought out an esky of beer into the middle of the court and invited the opposition to join them. They remained there until the final siren sounded!
Our women’s team has carried on this tradition at Masters Games to the surprise, but enjoyment, of the opposing teams.