Vets Ready to Bowl More than Maidens

They have been to every Alice Springs Masters Games since the beginning in 1986, and three of the original Mt Isa Granites team are back again this year.

The die-hard Friendly Gamers are Lyn Grahame, Yvonne Cook and Sue Tromp.

The women continued to embrace the Friendly Games spirit with their blow-up sumo wrestling outfits during the Opening Ceremony march on Saturday.

Grahame was quick to point out the extra padding had nothing to do with needing protection against bruising caused by pats on the back for being back at the Games.

“We dress up as something different every year and this year someone suggested the sumo outfits,” she said.

“It’s all part of the Games and adds a lot of colour and sets the friendly atmosphere. A lot more people were dressed up this year.”

In 1986 the Mt Isa Granites was made up of five women in an indoor cricket team but now, and for the past few Games, they have eight buddies to play eight-a-side outdoor cricket against the blokes.

Grahame said the reason the trio keep returning is simple.

“These are great Games, the best in Australia,” she said.

“We’ve been coming for so long we don’t want to stop.

“We enjoy playing cricket even though we only pick up a bat every two years or when we unpack the gear.

“Nine of us, including Lindsay McPherson who comes along every time with us, are back from previous Games.”

Grahame said the team has one Games’ virgin and a cricket virgin who joined after playing tennis.

There are 10 teams in the cricket competition including two women’s teams. The other team is the Alice Springs-based Zodiac Desert Chicks.

All 10 teams, including the women play each other in an eight-a-side, 14-over competition round robin before the finals.