Alive and certainly kicking
IAN Van Latham had a heart attack three years ago.
Twelve months later he had a knee replacement.
A year later he was back in action – playing soccer – and he’s showing no signs of hanging up his goalkeeping gloves anytime soon.
Van Latham was the oldest player from the Fraser Coast in action during the two-day Maryborough Masters Games soccer tournament at Granville’s Federation Park.
The Maryborough man is 69 now and he’s still going strong.
Gympie’s Arthur Tindall was the oldest player in action – he’s 79.
Van Latham played for the Maryborough Misfits, a team which failed to win any of the five games it played.
That statistic counts for nothing as far as the former Granville Soccer Club president and coach is concerned.
“It’s all about having fun and being able to still play,” Van Latham said.
“It helps keep me active and I’ll continue to play in the Masters Games for as long as the body holds up.
“Besides, it’s only an annual event and I’ve got 12 months to recover,” he laughed.
“I’m alive and kicking – literally.
“I love playing the game, something I always have done since I first started playing.”
While the soccer tournament, an event contested by more than 200 players, is over for another year, the Masters Games still has one more event to be contested.
The 19th and final event this year will be harness driving at the Maryborough Showgrounds this weekend.
Masters Games president Owen Maughan said by the time the final numbers are in, he reckoned the Games would have been contested by around 1000 people.
“The signs are very promising that will be the case,” Maughan, who is in his first year of the presidency, said.
“It’s been a good turnout and we are happy with it.”
The record for competitors was 1600 just before the 1994 World Masters Games in Brisbane.
‘It’s all about having fun and being able to still play.’