FOOTBALL: Gatton Redbacks players Heide Jenkins and Dawn Jackwitz proudly returned home from the World Masters Games in Auckland with some treasured silverware.
Among 28,000 other competitors from more than 100 countries at the event, the pair won silver medals in the Over 40s Ladies Football Premier Competition with their side the Murtwildas.
They started off their campaign with two losses before storming back to win their next three, including a 13-1 triumph over a Bundaberg outfit.
They would fall just short of the gold, losing out to a Canadian side for the top prize, and a squad from New Zealand rounded it out to win the bronze.
Their team has played together before, competing at the Gold Coast Pan Pac Masters, and the Sunshine Coast Masters but not all
of them could travel across the ditch for the competition.
New recruits, some joining from across Australia, New Zealand and America, were needed and the new team- mates had to get acquainted quickly.
Their first training session together was held on the day of the opening ceremony.
"We got to know each other's names that day and hoped we remembered them for the next day when we played,” Jackwitz laughed.
"The second game we got it all together.
"I met a lot of people from other countries, it was just beautiful.”
The Gatton pair have been long-time members at the club, with Jenkins playing for about 12 years and Jackwitz for almost a quarter of a century.
"I grew passion for the game as I watched my four sons play as they grew up,” Jackwitz said.
"When my oldest son Wade started seniors, I was there Saturdays and Sundays, and refereed then also, so I decided to start a ladies team and that was 25 years ago.”
The club is something close to her heart.
Jackwitz is a life member, has eight grandchildren playing for the club this year and is involved in both playing and coaching duties.
"I was there when we started... it's been a big part of my life,” she said.
The next World Masters Games will be held in Japan in four years time.
"The girls aren't sure if the legs will make it that far still playing competitive football,” she said.
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