Life-long love of vol­ley­ball


A reg­is­tered nurse from Christchurch is about to em­bark on her 15th con­sec­u­tive South Is­land Mas­ters Games, held in Nel­son in Oc­to­ber.

In fact vol­ley­ball en­thu­si­ast Daana Wat­son, a very young 53, has only missed the first three of the Games.

She has had a life-long love af­fair with her sport af­ter tak­ing it up as a 12-year-old in Scot­land where she lived un­til her fam­ily em­i­grated to Christchurch in 1977.

‘‘I just love the at­mos­phere of mak­ing new friends and catch­ing up with old ones in an en­vi­ron­ment of com­pet­i­tive fun, while en­joy­ing the ever chal­leng­ing bal­ance of what I think my body can do and what my body will ac­tu­ally let me do,’’ she said.

The event has come a long way since Wat­son en­cour­aged some fe­male club mem­bers to join her only to find they were the only team in their grade and had to play in a higher one against sides con­tain­ing men and an el­e­vated net.

It may have put off oth­ers, but Wat­son and her team mates,with the motto ‘play hard, party harder’, saw it as a chal­lenge.

Af­ter many years’ hard work, they fi­nally earned a gold medal at the 2010 Ti­maru games.

Wat­son’s most re­cent medal was a bronze at this year’s World Mas­ters in Auck­land, not bad for a team who had never met or played to­gether un­til the day be­fore com­pe­ti­tion started.

It is the ca­ma­raderie as much as the com­pe­ti­tion that at­tracts her.

‘‘In Auck­land I was de­lighted to re­con­nect with play­ers that I had met four years ear­lier in Italy, and over the years I’ve met so many peo­ple pas­sion­ate about play­ing vol­ley­ball, which I’m sure is equally so for all the other sports played at these events,’’ Wat­son said.


Christchurch reg­is­tered nurse and vol­ley­ball en­thu­si­ast Daana Wat­son will at­tend her 15th con­sec­u­tive SIMG in Oc­to­ber in Nel­son, hav­ing missed just the first three.

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