Brittany Shanahan - 13 October 2013
75-year old Barbara Pearce snatched an abundance of gold and silver medals at the 14th Australian Masters Games, driven by her love for swimming.
During the eight-day tournament, Pearce collected a total of ten medals, including five gold medals in the final day of the Games in the pool lifesaving competition held at Geelong Grammar School.
Pearce won the women’s over 65s 100 metres obstacles, 25m and 50m manikin carries, mixed 4x25m obstacles and 4x25m medley relays.
“It’s really awesome and I’ve really enjoyed every minute of it,” Pearce said of her day’s medal haul.
“I’ve done lots of Masters Games – I’d do them all if I could.
“I started competing in the lifesaving when I came to Australia ten years ago – we didn’t have it in South Africa, where I come from.”
“Last year in October was the Royal Life and Surf in Adelaide and I broke a world record then for the 100m obstacle and next month they will present me with a certificate from Belgium at Government House in Adelaide.”
In addition to Saturday’s gold collection, Pearce also won gold in the W64+ 400m individual medley, 50m and 100m butterfly in the swimming competition on the Games’ opening weekend. The avid swimmer also collected silver medals in the women’s 800m freestyle and 50m backstroke events.
Swimming has been a pivotal part in Pearce’s life and the former swim teacher hopes to be at the next Australian Masters Games which given her residence is at Mt Barker in South Australia and the 15th edition will be in Adelaide looks quite possible.
“I’ve taught swimming all my life and only retired last year in October from teaching,” she said.
“I do open water swims and any swimming that’s going – I love it. I think it’s really important, it keeps you healthy - it’s fun and keeps you going.”
The Australian Masters Games were staged In Geelong from 5 to 12 October and is one of Australia’s largest multi sporting events.
For further Australian Masters Games information, visit - www.AustralianMastersGames.comBritt
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