Masters kicks off in Townsville

The Vic Metro team featuring Collingwood great (#23) Ray Shaw

The 30th Annual AFL Masters Competition kicked off in Townsville last Saturday night and is set to provide a significant social and economic boost to the region.

More than 1200 players, supporters, and guests were treated to a spectacular opening ceremony at Tony Ireland Stadium with the 800 players lead onto the field by Lavarack Barrack’s 1 RAR 20 piece band playing ‘Up there Cazaly’.

The match ball for the Over 60s exhibition game was delivered onto the ground by helicopter, two Army cannons were fired to start the Qld Vs Vic Metro 35s game and the evening concluded with a ten-minute fireworks display.

The national carnival consists of players in age groups 35+, 40+ (2 divisions), 45+, 50+ (2 divisions) and 55+.

The event has been held in a variety of States and Territories after the National Carnival was held on the Sunshine Coast in 2011.

Participants enjoyed a day at the races on Tuesday, with more than a 1000 of the Masters contingent heading to Cluden Park Racecourse – which the Townsville Turf Club announced as one of their biggest days this year.

Coming into the finals on Friday and Saturday, Tasmania lead the 35s and Div 1 40s age groups, Vic Metro the Div 1 50s and 55s, NT the Div 2 40s and Div 2 50s, and NSW the 45s.

Home state Qld are in a strong position to challenge for the Div 1 40s title.

The 2012 event has attracted over 40 teams with 800+ players, 32 umpires, officials and support staff.

When combined with wives/partners and families, the total participation is over 1500, with an estimated total expenditure of more than $4 million.

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