Aileen Smith - winner of the over 80's Australian Masters Squash title.
Aileen Smith - winner of the over 80's Australian Masters Squash title. Adam Hourigan

Aileen's a squash master

SQUASH: When it comes to squash, Aileen Smith is a master in more ways than one.

Smith has recently returned from the Australian Masters Squash Championships in Darwin in September with an armful of awards, including the Women's 80-84 Open Winner title and the Women's Masters Open perpetual trophy.

"It's not bad for an old girl," Smith said.

More satisfying for Smith was the opportunity to get one over her Queensland rival Eileen Barnard, who has had the better of their last few matches.

The two should be used to playing each other by now, having regularly played each other since Smith started competing in the Masters tournament 11 years ago.

"Nearly every year I play her, so it was good to get one up on her," Smith said.

"I got the first title in this age group, then she got the next three, but I got her this year so it was very good to beat that Queensland lady."

There are only three ladies who compete in the Masters squash competition from the Clarence Valley who have been travelling together since 2008 when they were dubbed the 'Golden Girls' by a family friend.

Smith said the competition has allowed her to travel and see more of Australia.

"I remember the first year I went away with these other two ladies, the competition was on the Central Coast, and I said to the lady who was driving I'll know where I am until I get to Coffs Harbour, and after that I wouldn't have a clue where you take me," Smith said.

"Since then I've been to Canberra twice, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Rockhampton, it's been terrific.

"It's in Ballarat next year, so I'm looking forward to that.

At 84-years-old, Smith has been playing Squash since 1979 and plays competitions on Tuesday nights and socially on Thursdays.

Smith said she has no intention of giving up any time soon and why would she, when she can match it with a player more than 60 years her junior?

"The other night I played a young bloke who I think was only 18, he is still on his P-Plates, and I got a game off him," she said.

"I was quite pleased about that."

Smith said the physical exercise helps to keep her feel young.

"I often tell people you've got to keep going otherwise you will just go downhill," she said.



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