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Mangawhai stands up at World Masters Games



Bowls winners-726The World Masters Games held in Auckland in the latter part of April is the largest multi-sport event in the world. In terms of athlete numbers, it is bigger in scale than even the Olympics.

Though the Games hosted a total of 28,000 participants in 28 sports from the largest to the smallest countries on the globe, our little coastal haven of Mangawhai was still able to field some worthy representatives who cemented their place within their classes on the world stage.

In lawn bowls, Mangawhai Club reps Sue Epsom and Di Robinson worked their way through three wins to qualify for the womens pairs, winning gold by beating another pair of Kiwi heavyweights.

Jill Brierly added to the local tally by scoring a silver medal in the parasport lawn bowls.

Nancy Bowmar was again to the fore in the track and field events, initially qualifying second in her heat then winning bronze in the womens 100 metres followed by silver in the high jump, then pouring on the pressure in her specialty events coming up with the gold in both the long jump and triple jump.

Her two gold medal performances are still awaiting ratification as Northland age-group records.

Despite New Zealand’s traditional competitive reputation on the sports field, 60 percent of those surveyed favoured friendship and understanding over competition, the two philosophies of the World Masters Games.

This results were strongly influenced by those aged 60 and older. For most sports at the World Masters Games there are no qualification criteria other than age, and this was reflected in opinions on how one becomes a “Master” in their chosen sport. Most felt that “putting in your best effort and enjoying every moment you spend playing” was the best way.

In addition to the focus on friendship and understanding, two thirds of those surveyed believe World Masters Games 2017 will have a positive impact on tourism in New Zealand.

n Footnote: We are aware there were a number of other competitors from the area but the absence of a written catalogue has made it difficult to know the outcome of all events.

FLYING: Athletics specialist Nancy Bowmar on her way to gold in the long jump.

TOP PAIR: Sue Epsom and Di Robinson beat another Kiwi pair to win bowls gold.

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