The oldest competitor at the 2018 Pan Pacific Masters Games, Brisbane's 93-year-old Vince Home, will compete in indoor rowing at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday. Vince will be joined by wife Beryl.
The oldest competitor at the 2018 Pan Pacific Masters Games, Brisbane's 93-year-old Vince Home, will compete in indoor rowing at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday. Vince will be joined by wife Beryl.

Secret to 93yo’s sporting success

WHEN Vince Home lost his eyesight and his hearing, it was no longer safe for him to go on his daily walks.

But after being introduced to an indoor rowing machine six years ago, the 93-year-old Redlands local and his wife Beryl, 87, have rowed six days a week, every week, to stay active.

The duo are competing in the 80-plus division at the indoor rowing at this week's Pan Pacific Masters Games.

Mr Home, the oldest competitor among the 16,000 athletes at the entire Games, finished second yesterday against 80-year-olds, men 13 years his junior.

Mr Home used to manage a sheep station in Tara before moving to Brisbane where he worked as a sales manager and finishing up his working life as a Queensland Manager for Peter Kurts Real Estate.

Peter Beare competes in the indoor rowing at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Peter Beare competes in the indoor rowing at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Brisbane couple have been married for 68 years and have four children, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

"Our daughter (Susan Nisbet) introduced us to the Games three years ago and we have made so many interstate friends that we catch up with each year," said Mrs Home.

"When Vince wanted to take up indoor rowing, I said, 'well if you're going to, then I am too'. It is something we can do together to stay fit."

Competitors from all walks of life made up the "supportive" indoor rowing community yesterday, with many saying they took up the sport to overcome injury, health issues or even mental health problems.

Vince Home with Beryl.
Vince Home with Beryl.

Mary Cook, from Tasmania, was a truck driver for the Australian Army and served for 14 years.

Medically discharged three years ago with a neck injury and PTSD, she began rowing in April with service dog Roxy by her side.

"Rowing saved my life," she said.

"It has made me mentally stronger. I'm getting my old-self back.

"Today was my first time ever competing. It felt great.

"My life changed in six months. I didn't have a focus, now I do."

Adelaide's Beverly Hayes said rowing had helped her recovery from several strokes.

Mrs Hayes suffered a stroke 10 years ago, a second stoke last year and another early this year.

As part of her rehabilitation, she joined Port Adelaide indoor rowing club four years ago to keep fit, even completing the Kokoda Track three years ago.

Ken Stephens, also from Adelaide, had heart surgery eight months ago and has battled prostate cancer in the past and said rowing ensured his heart was strong and healthy.

"I had never rowed before I started a year ago," he said.

"Today I broke my personal best in the 2000m. I think it's an Australian record."

Rob Cossalter and partner Roberta Gordon train and teach at the Maroochydore Sunshine Coast Rowing Club on the Sunshine Coast.

Ms Gordon beat her own Australian record yesterday in the 500m in the 70-74 category.

She also holds a world record in the 1-minute race for her division.

The Pan Pacific Masters Games continues with boxing, callisthenics, clay target shooting and swimming beginning today.

The Games will run at various venues across the Gold Coast until November 11.



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