Dot, 81, takes to the net­ball court

Franklin County News - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MAD­DI­SON NORTH­COTT

Dot Col­lie has at­tended every Golden Oldies fes­ti­val for the past 30 years – and the 81-year-old net­baller sees no rea­son to stop now.

De­spite re­fus­ing any for­mal ex­er­cise, the sprightly woman from Waiuku, near Auck­land, is one of the sports fes­ti­val’s old­est play­ers. She took to the court along­side her four daugh­ters at Christchurch’s Ha­gley Park last week to prove her age wouldn’t stop her shoot­ing for gold.

Col­lie, for­merly a keen hockey player who got into net­ball through her daugh­ters, said she first agreed to at­tend the 1988 Goldie Oldies event in Bris­bane as the team’s man­ager, but the other play­ers con­vinced her to lace up her own train­ers.

This year marks the first time all Golden Oldies events are be­ing held in the same city. The month­long in­ter­na­tional event in Christchurch runs cricket, golf, hockey, bowls, net­ball and rugby tour­na­ments.

Not one to say no to a chal­lenge, Col­lie took to the court and eas­ily set­tled into her po­si­tion as goal shoot – ‘‘it’s a bit of an art if I ac­tu­ally get in be­cause I’m pretty short’’.

She en­joyed the team spirit, the chance to con­nect with old friends and the op­por­tu­nity to travel so much that she’d been back to every fes­ti­val since 1988. She was the only orig­i­nal mem­ber in the team and said she wouldn’t be giv­ing it up any­time soon.

A ban­ner made from sou­venir pins col­lected at each tour­na­ment formed an im­pres­sive dis­play of her com­mit­ment to the sport, daugh­ter Marie said.

‘‘[My daugh­ters] said they come to look af­ter me but I think it’s a lit­tle bit both ways, I still look af­ter them,’’ Dot Col­lie said.

Col­lie lives at home and is kept on her feet look­ing af­ter her hus­band. She doesn’t bother with gyms or or­gan­ised fit­ness to pre­pare, so the fes­ti­val was a chance to see if she still ‘‘had it’’.

The 1988 fes­ti­val was also the first time Welling­ton’s Hutt Hurtz play­ers Judy Wal­ley and Di Gap­per took to the court.

De­spite be­ing three decades older now, the pair said they had no prob­lem keep­ing up on the court with the younger play­ers on the team.

IAIN MCGRE­GOR/STUFF

With nine play­ers to­tal, the four Col­lie si­b­lings and their mum Dot, 81, make up over half the squad.

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