Doc, I’m too old to compete!

I would have to say, the excuse “I’m too old” just doesn’t wash any more. So don’t even go there or you’ll be met with a list of reasons why you are NEVER TOO OLD! A 99 year old smashed the 50m Freestyle swim World Record last year and I could even go as far as saying more sports have been included into the 2019 Masters Games to eliminate this excuse – yes, LAWN BOWLS has been added!! And for the eager beaver-Rocky-wannabes, BOXING lands with a thump.

Whether it’s the hand-eye co-ordination and skill of lawn bowls, or the strength and agility of boxing, Masters Games has you covered.  Before you write lawn bowls off as a Crackerjack of a sport, there are many health benefits– from cardiovascular fitness benefits walking up and down the green, to agility, balance and strength with bending to play. Not to mention the psychological benefits of being outside with friends in a social, fun environment.  And if you haven’t seen the Melbourne Bowls Club do the Beyonce “All the Bowling Ladies” rendition – check it out!

Injuries likely to be sustained in Lawn Bowls predominantly includes falls (watch out for those pesky balls and gutters at each end) and poor technique in bending over to pick up bowls.  Sun-safety is also a priority as an outdoor sport, so keep the fluids up and slip, slop, slap! Gentle warm-ups to loosen up the muscles will help and balance exercises are useful if you are a bit concerned about falls risks.  Your muscles need to help hold you up for life so this is a fun way to stay strong and safe.

Did you know, Lawn Bowls was one of the most popular sports to watch at the 2018 Commonwealth Games?! Honestly! It’s ticket sales were the surprising package – so it was good to see the Aussies smash out a few Gold medals!  And in case you were wondering, the Australian team was made up of 17 athletes, ranging from 26 years of age to 68 – so no excuses!

Dr Kira James is a Sport & Exercise Medicine Registrar with FNQ Sports Medicine, living it up in Cairns.  She learnt very quickly that age is just a number with sport and is regularly impressed with the Cairns age-group athletes, competing around the world and putting the young’uns to shame!