In late July our family had the opportunity to attend the World Masters? Games in Edmonton. This is an open competition for anyone from age 30 up. There are many events in these games – some are team sports and others are individual events. The Games are held every four years at a different host city. One of the things that make them particularly unique is that most athletes are entering for the sheer joy of taking part in their sport, although some are very competitive and many were Olympic athletes in their younger days. Camaraderie among the competitors is evident to all. Watching 85+ year olds giving it their best in the Long Jump, Discus, and the Track events gave one a true sense of inspiration.

Charles Helm competed from Tumbler Ridge. He took part in the 5000m track event and managed to come in right in the middle of his field for this event, placing 10th out of 19 in the 45-49 age group in a time of 19 minutes 31 seconds. This is not a bad accomplishment considering this is where the best in the world meet and compete. If any of us ever felt that we cannot try something like this, think again. The doors are there ready to be opened, and the decision is ours whether to open them or not.

As a family it was super to see the kids cheer on their Dad. Daniel’s experience in Track and Field was useful as he assumed the role of coach while in Edmonton for his Dad. Max Allen is a summer student in Tumbler Ridge, and has competed at Junior National level and in international athletics meets. For the months leading up to the games he coached Charles, and his skills and dedication inspired him and gave him all he needed to take part.

The next World Masters? Games will be held in Sydney, Australia, in 2009. Perhaps a large Tumbler Ridge contingent will make use of the proposed new athletics track and will make the trip “Down Under” together!