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.