Goldies but no oldies

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These five Barbados women never get tired of hearing they look too young for this week’s Golden Oldies World Netball Festival.

Even being quizzed by United States airport staff about their intentions in New Zealand has been a laugh for the bubbly netballers.

“The [passport control] man asked me if I was playing. I said yes. He was so puzzled,” says Cheryl Carter, 48.
“I told him it’s for 39 years and up. He said, ‘you’re a Golden Oldie?’ I said ‘yes’.”

The women, aged 47-54, say it’s the Caribbean sun that keeps them youthful.

In Queenstown for the international competition this week, the women struggled to get used to the cooler climate.
“We’re not accustomed to the cold but it’s not too bad so far,” team manager Pam Roach says.

“Just the view is enough to make us forget about the weather. Queenstown’s really beautiful.”

Only four of the group are playing in the competition’s semi-serious category – they have to rope in at least three other netballers to make up the numbers for each game.

“We were so determined to come – even if it was just one person playing we were coming,” Carter says.
The women, who flew 21 hours to get to NZ, leave on Sunday after a week of playing netball.

The Golden Oldies competition, which attracted 500 participants from five different countries, finishes at the Events Centre tomorrow. A special feature game – NZ v Barbarians – is at 5pm.

It concludes with a finale dinner and awards ceremony at the Events Centre on Saturday night.