Games have run course

| posted on April 20, 2017

THE WA State Masters Games (WASMG) are looking to end with organisers choosing to wind up the entity due to a lack of interest.

The competitive sporting event for seniors has been held in Albany every two years since its inception in 1990, but has dwindled steadily over the past few events with only three sports taking part.

The committee tried to hold its annual general meeting on April 11 but was unable to reach the quorum of seven members.

It then held a general meeting and passed a resolution that the WASMG Inc be wound up under Department of Commerce guidelines at a future extraordinary meeting.

The entity has no debts and will seek to disperse its remaining funds and property to the three remaining sports involved being the Albany Athletics Club, Albany Rowing Club and the Gomm Park Croquet Club.

WASMG representative Carey Dickason said she was sad to see the games go, but the current committee could only do so much.

“When you’re battling to get a committee together, it gives you an indication that there’s a lack of interest,” she said.

“There has been no in-fighting or anything like that.

“The support from the volunteers has been wonderful.

“We are all just a bit battle-weary.”

The games were introduced to provide sporting opportunities for veteran athletes and competition was typically held

in the off-peak winter months so the influx of visitors could be accommodated.

There were 786 registered participants across 22 sports in the first games held in May, 1990 with sports ranging from lawn bowls to weight lifting.

Albany MLA Peter Watson competed in the games and had fond memories of racing in the 1500m.

“It is disappointing that the games have come to an end. I know for a long period of time the volunteers have been working very hard to keep it going,” he said.

“It’s a lot harder to attract the sorts of numbers to town now than it was 10 years ago.”

“There’s just so much more on offer now, not just locally, but state-wide and even nationally.”

Ms Dickason said external funding had dried up in later years, making it more difficult to gain interest in the event.

“The department (of Sport and Recreation) were right behind it, and it was well supported by the City of Albany,” she said.

“But it’s not just a problem with funding. There is just a general lack of interest.”

Department of Sport and Recreation regional manager Great Southern Chris Thompson said while it was sad to see the games fold, he was pleased with the participation rate for seniors in sport locally.

“It’s always sad to see these things come to an end. Hats off to the volunteers who enabled it to run as long as it has,” he said.

“We’ve still got a healthy population of older athletes. You only need to walk through Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre on any given day to see the number of programs there are.

“There is probably a need for structured sport for veterans to evolve.

“Like any product, it’s cyclical.”

The WASMG Inc will hold its extraordinary meeting on April 26 to vote on the resolution to voluntarily cancel the association’s incorporation and disperse its remaining funds and property.