An­cient, awe­some, Lardy Birds

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - CLASSIFIED INDEX - MAIKE VAN DER HEIDE

It’s the tak­ing part that counts. Right?

Well, that’s cer­tainly the phi­los­o­phy of Marl­bor­ough net­ball team, the Lardy Birds, as they pre­pare (or not) for their sec­ond South Is­land Mas­ters Games.

‘‘The re­sults are not as im­por­tant as get­ting out there and do­ing it to­gether,’’ says Molina Uhrle.

‘‘It was a lot of fun last year, so we thought we’d give it an­other crack this year.’’

The Lardy Birds have en­tered the women’s social com­pet­i­tive 30+ years cat­e­gory at this year’s games, in Nel­son in Oc­to­ber.

They are mostly women who at­tended Golden Bay High School to­gether, with sev­eral now based in Marl­bor­ough.

They are Re­becca Demp­ster, Molina Uhrle and PJ Muir (cap­tain) of Marl­bor­ough, Katie McRae who moved from Blen­heim to Golden Bay re­cently, Talia Lynch of Auck­land, Lisa Page and Keri Page of Nel­son, Lau­retta Haskell of Motueka, and Nikki Philpot of Night­caps, South­land.

Molina, who is on the side­lines this year as team manager be­cause she’s hav­ing her third baby in Oc­to­ber, says everyone from the orig­i­nal team is back apart from one, with Blen­heim’s Janelle Bai­ley out due to in­jury.

All ex­cept Re­becca and Nikki went to Golden Bay High School across var­i­ous year lev­els.

While get­ting everyone to­gether from all over New Zealand takes a bit of or­gan­is­ing, Molina says the event makes for a great week­end away and is very social. ’’The em­pha­sis is on fun as op­posed to com­pet­i­tive.’’

‘‘They of­fer lots of social events, we didn’t go to them last time be­ing that we were new, but we in­tend to go this year.’’

The team en­tered the games two years ago un­der the name An­cient & Awe­some.

De­spite that name, the women are aged be­tween 34 and 44, and Molina says she met many oth­ers of the same age at the games. The min­i­mum ‘‘mas­ters’’ age is dif­fer­ent for each sport, from 25 for swim­ming to 35 for oth­ers.

Marl­bor­ough’s en­tries so far show the old­est per­son en­tered is 85. So far there are 65 peo­ple reg­is­tered from Marl­bor­ough, mak­ing it the third high­est re­gion af­ter Christchurch and Nel­son.

The South Is­land Mas­ters Games takes place from Oc­to­ber 4 to 8 at Sax­ton Field.

The early reg­is­tra­tion dead­line is Satur­day, July 1, with any­one reg­is­ter­ing by this date re­ceiv­ing $15 off .

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

The Lardy Birds are get­ting ready for their sec­ond South Is­land Mas­ters Games.

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