Cambridge’s Vicki Todd has returned to town with a gold medal from the recent Australian Masters Games held in Tasmania.
Playing with a Kiwi-Aussie team known as the Koaki Rangers, they made their through five games during the tournament in late October, winning all but one, only to face the one team they’d lost against in the final.
“We were so tired by that point,” said Vicki, who had played two games each day over the three-day competition. “We were expecting silver, because they’d beaten us, so to get gold was a really nice surprise, well above our expectations.”
The gold medal won in the 55+ netball division adds to Vicki’s Masters Games tally having won silver with the same netball team at the World Masters Games in Cambridge earlier this year.
Going up against the Gold Coast Masters team in the final was no easy feat, their Goal Shoot stood at six and a half feet tall, and with Vicki playing Goal Defence she faced quite the challenge waiting for her in the goal circle.
“We were bouncing off her,” Vicki laughed. “We tried to stop the ball with midcourt intercepts off the centre pass, before it got to her, because she would just shoot it in quite easily.”
The team were down by three goals during the first half but had managed to climb to one point ahead by half time. The second half was a tight tussle for the win, with the Koaki Rangers getting ahead by five points before winning with a lead of three goals.
“It was hard work, but it was fun,” said Vicki.
Also playing on the team alongside Vicki was a Tamahere resident, Jacqui Peach. The two play weekly netball in the Morrinsville league, where the Koaki Rangers was originally formed. Though all the team members keep active with netball, they only get together to practice a couple of times before competing in the Masters Games and the Pan Pacific Games.
“It’s a really cool connection,” Vicki said of the team.
Next up the Koaki Rangers will be competing in the New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin in February, followed by the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast in November 2018.