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Tasmanian MP Hauling in the Medals

Tasmanian MP Hauling in the Medals

At the Otago Community Trust New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin, Tasmanian MP Michael Gaffney, is enjoying being anonymous. This multi-sport athlete signed up for four different sports events and now boasts quite a haul of medals.

The Hon. Member for Mersey is an independent member of Tasmania’s state parliament’s Upper House, the Legislative Council. He was also President of Tasmania’s local government association and was mayor of home town Latrobe for 12 twelve years. Michael heard about the 2018 Games when he competed at the World Masters in Auckland last year and he’s not disappointed.

“I’m just loving it. It’s great to travel and be somewhere where no one knows you. And the organisation of the Games here is wonderful. I’ve been put into teams, paired up with other competitors and everyone has been so friendly. I haven’t met a volunteer yet without a smile on their face.

“Yesterday the beach volleyball was like a mini-united nations, 25 competitors from 11 different countries and even though the conditions at the beach were less than pleasant the organisation was wonderful. We were spoilt with hot cross buns, sausages, hamburgers and coffee.

Michael is looking forward to basketball tomorrow, playing for the Saints, a Dunedin team in the 30+ age group. He was a little concerned that his age might slow them down.

“I told them I was 58yrs and they said , ‘It’s okay Michael we haven’t won a game in three years!”

Their luck could change as Michael is on a roll. He helped the Whanganui ‘Community Suburbs’ touch football team win a silver medal, and partnered with Gus Schaumkel from Dunedin to win silver in the Lawn Bowls 120yrs+ pairs, and at beach volleyball he took bronze with his partner Diego Torrezin da Silva from Queenstown and notched up a silver medal in the beach volleyball mixed fours.

His athletic prowess may have something to do with being a former PE teacher who, in his younger days, played representative baseball, volleyball, touch football, Aussie rules, basketball and athletics.

“I love mixing up my sports as I get to meet so many different people. A lot of the guys and their partners I have met will hopefully come and visit Tasmania. That’s what it’s all about. I’ll definitely be back, I’ve had a great time.”

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