Two Tatura athletes are competing in the 14th Australian Masters Games, which are currently being held at Geelong and Werribee and have atracted about 8000 athletes from across the country.
Jacinta Rennie, 44, is competing in the equestrian events, while George Moutafis, 49, is competing in the taekwondo section.
Ms Rennie said she just scraped into the Masters Games this year for her first appearance, which she was really looking forward to.
Along with her horse Habafield Kingfisher (Kit), Ms Rennie will compete in the dressage section of the games at Werribee today, combined training tomorrow and show horse on Thursday.
‘‘Kit is an eight-year-old New Forrest pony. I have owned him since March 2012 and have formed a super partnership with him, competing in shows, dressage, navigation rides and jumping,’’ Ms Rennie said.
She said she hoped Kit behaved and it didn’t rain, because he performed better in the dry than the wet.
As well as competing in her first Masters Games, Ms Rennie said she was also looking forward to the social side of things.
‘‘It should be a fun three days,’’ she said.
Mr Moutafis is also looking forward to his first games despite a nagging injury, which he hopes will have cleared up in time for his first event later in the week.
‘‘I am competing in a 14 km Spartan Race in Ballarat on Sunday, and that should tell me if I will be right for the games,’’ he said last Tuesday.
Mr Moutafis owns and runs GV Functional Fitness Studio in Mooroopna, still competes in full contact taekwondo competitions at a state and national level.
‘‘You could be excused for thinking that I have been doing martial arts all my life, the fact is, that it’s only been eight years,’’ he said.
‘‘While I have been sports orientated most of my life, I still suffered the standard aches and pains most of us associate with old age. However, once conditioned in the martial arts, most of my ongoing back and hip issues eased.’’
Mr Moutafis said research in the martial arts training regime had directed him to functional movement training, that is, training the body in movement patterns rather than individually isolated muscle groups.
‘‘GV Functional Fitness workouts utilise functional movements that prepare your body for the activities performed in daily life, recreational activities and sports,’’ he said.
‘‘This way, your body learns to provide the stability you require instead of it being provided by a machine, as in normal gym workouts.
‘‘Utilising functional training in combination with taekwondo training, I have managed to secure four national taekwondo gold medals over the past few years
‘‘When I achieved my Black Belt last year, I also became a taekwondo instructor and started running classes at my Mooroopna studio on Thursday evenings.
‘‘The school has quickly built up and I am now at capacity as the training centre is not large here in Mooroopna.
‘‘Our main school out at east Shepparton is huge, my head instructor Sammy Rachele has 70 participants in each class.
Mr Moutafis said training in both martial arts and functional fitness completes a package that will improve the body, mind and spirit, thus empowering the student to cope better with life’s everyday challenges and stresses.
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