Super fit Steve has 60 reasons to represent Australia
IT'S an ominous sign when a successful 60-year-old sportsman is training harder than he did more than three decades ago.
"The only thing I can't do now is run as fast as I could when I was 25,'' Steve Sawyers said.
The Walloon-based personal trainer said the intensive work he is doing these days has him in terrific nick to play hockey.
However, he knows his fitness will be crucial when he represents Australia again at next month's FIH Grand Masters World Cup in Newcastle.
Sawyers, 60 this year, was part of the Australian over-55 masters team that won a bronze medal at the 2014 World Cup in The Netherlands. That tournament in Rotterdam was a satisfying experience, after he represented Australia on previous tours and in three Trans-Tasman series since 2003.
However, moving up an age group provides a new World Cup challenge for Sawyers.
More countries are represented in the over 60's bracket, including hockey strongholds like Spain, England, Germany, The Netherlands and New Zealand.
While pleased to see hockey's "old fellas'' supporting the sport internationally, Sawyers expected a testing assignment playing up to eight international games.
"It will be tough,'' the midfield/striker said.
"The (Australian) 60's won it last time but this time over here, there's 13 countries coming.
"It's the biggest roll-up in any division in any age group.''
Sawyers joins the Australian team in Sydney tomorrow for a camp before the tournament starts on May 2.
Up until last year, the former Australian wrestling representative was still playing second and third division hockey in the Brisbane competition.
Although fit, he said "he got a bit smarter'' this year by playing for Wests in R2 and Vets competitions, along with his many workouts.
"I'm training harder now than I was when I was 25,'' he said.