Gold for Gretchen!

I recently had the amazing opportunity to travel to Turin Italy for the World
Masters Games, both as a player on the Meralomas United soccer team and as a
physio for the team. It was such an incredible trip, with an incredible group of
strong, powerful, athletic and humble women. Not only did we come together as a
team to represent Canada, we also managed to win the gold! And have some fun
doing it.
The World Masters Games are a multi-sport event, open to anyone, held every 4
years in various parts of the world. The Games are the most important world
sporting event for sportspeople over 30, involving a number of participants four
times higher than a summer edition of the Olympic Games .
It would not have happened if it were not for the support of many people here at
home, and that includes Mathew Powell and West 4th Physiotherapy Clinic. He
kindly stepped up when we were looking for sponsorship, and also donated
generously for the big fundraiser we had before leaving. I consider myself
incredibly lucky to work for such an amazing clinic, and an even more amazing
boss! It’s not every day you get to play the sport you love, for the country you
love as well as do a job I love…in Italy!
It was a bit of a grueling schedule with our team playing 9 games in 10 days, 8
of those games being on consecutive days. Oh yes, and in nearly 40 degree
weather! There were only a few nagging chronic injuries that needed some tending
to, and of course some blister management. But all in all, everyone stuck to the
hydration plan, warmed up and cooled down like professionals, and did we look
good (thanks to our beautiful white West 4th Physio jerseys)! Another highlight
of the trip was the opening ceremonies. Hundreds of athletes from various sports
gathered in a beautiful piazza (not to mention a huge contingency representing
Canada) and we wound our way through downtown Turin while the streets were
absolutely filled with supportive cheers from the locals. It was definitely one
of those moments that fills your heart with pride and makes the hair on your
arms stand at attention.
I would like to thank each and every person that supported us along this
journey, and of course a huge thank you to Matt for helping us to reach our
To all those athletes out there that are over 30-35 years of age and want to
keep competing…get out there and do it! It is so great to have the opportunity
to keep active and healthy, meet great people and share in lasting memories as
well as compete even well into our later years. See you Auckland, New Zealand in
Gretchen McLennan
Registered Physiotherapist
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