Ian has that golden glow

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - PA­TRICK GEE

GOLD wasn’t even on his radar when 72-year-old New Nor­folk man Ian Beecroft went to Burnie for the 2017 Aus­tralian Mas­ters Games.

But that’s ex­actly what he re­turned with af­ter a twom­atch cam­paign in the over- 70 men’s tennis com­pe­ti­tion.

Mr Beecroft was paired with 70-year-old Syd­ney man Tony Leszn­ski af­ter his in­tended part­ner fell ill.

The duo played two matches, win­ning the first with a tie-breaker and the sec­ond fairly com­fort­ably.

“Af­ter the game we went up to get the re­sults from the or­gan­is­ers think­ing we might have a chance to play in the fi­nals or the play offs but he said you’ve just won the gold,” Mr Beecroft said.

He also com­peted in the mixed dou­bles with Burniebased part­ner Heather Walmsley. The pair did not place in the mixed com­pe­ti­tion, which had more than 15 teams com­pet­ing.

Mr Beecroft said the Aus­tralian Mas­ters Games — which at­tracted about 5000 com­peti­tors — was a won­der­ful event and com­pared it to “the Olympic Games for old peo­ple”.

“It high­lights that you can stay very healthy in old age and still do all the things in the games,” he said.

Some of the events in the week-long com­pe­ti­tion in­cluded judo, sail­ing, vol­ley­ball, bas­ket­ball, BMX, soccer and fut­sal.

“It just proves that the stigma of old age isn’t re­ally there if you want to go out and keep mov­ing around,” Mr Beecroft said.

Tennis is his main form of ex­er­cise — he plays up to four times a week.

“I tell ev­ery­one that I don’t have pri­vate health in­sur­ance — I play tennis,” he said.

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