Shuttling across for the games

By David Ogilvie

Pam Geard is not a newcomer to the Masters Games psyche.

In fact she's an avid supporter of the idea, and says "the more people embrace the New Zealand give-it-a-go attitude, the NZ Masters provides, the better it will be for our ageing population."

Geard will be in Wanganui for the Masters Games from February 1 to 10.

The Christchurch woman, who at some 23 past Masters-type events has played netball, badminton, squash and also filled the role of supporter, is "just coming for a bit of fun at the baddie" this time. She's been to Wanganui and the NZ Masters in 2001 ("netball supporter because I had just had ligament reconstruction in my ankle - and that wasn't much fun), in 2009 (badminton) and 2011 (badminton again).

This time it's the women's doubles with Lyndsay Dick, the mixed doubles with Grant Demenech, and the teams event as a member of the Random Rebels.

Her first Masters were the Dunedin Games of 1998. "I played badminton and netball, and won medals in most events," Geard said this week.

"Since then I've had reasonable success on most trips."

The next one was to the inaugural Pan-Pacific Games in Brisbane in 1998 where she played netball, followed by Masters Games in Dunedin and Timaru, the latter the South Island Masters.

Then followed the first trip to Wanganui (as a supporter) in 2001, and consistent visits to Dunedin and Timaru from that point, interspersed with Masters Games in Melbourne (World Masters in 2002), and Adelaide for the 2005 Australian Masters.

Since then it's been all New Zealand, except for the Sydney World Masters in 2009 and the Pan Pacific Masters in Surfers Paradise this year.

"I always try to play hard on and off the court because for me it's as much about staying fit as it is keeping and making friendships. We always dress up and have a bit of fun during the day - and then go out and dance the night away," Geard said.

"I think it's a great event and the more people embrace the 'give it a go' attitude that the NZ Masters provides, the better it will be for our ageing population."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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