Four local ancient lads will be participating in the World Masters Athletic games in the 55-plus competitive men’s basketball category for former collegiate/university players Aug. 11 in Turin (Torino), Italy.
Larry Street, Grant Ashlee, Tony Edwards and Hugh MacKinnon will join six players from Vancouver and Calgary to form a Canada West team in the multi-sport event. The basketball category involves 10 games in 10 days.
A pair of Comox Valley soccer teams, men’s and women’s, are also registered to compete pin Italy.
Street, who competed at the last world masters event in Sydney, Australia, formed this year’s basketball team. The squad won the 55-plus category at the B.C. Masters Games in Abbotsford in April.
The world event includes an opening and closing ceremony and competitions over 10 days.
“As the shortest and oldest participant on our team I am just praying there is good health care in Italy,” MacKinnon said. “Furthermore, I intend to hide, as much as possible, behind our seven-foot centre, Jim Anderson from Calgary. After all, as the famous Hollywood actress Bette Davis said in her latter years: Old age ain’t for sissies’!”
Besides friendly competition the Games’ goals are to encourage lifetime fitness and promote international goodwill amongst countries. The Canada West basketball team intends to spread goodwill through gift exchanges before each game, and Comox Valley tourism brochures throughout the competition to highlight Canada and the Comox Valley as a tourist destination.