A master of track and field
THE 2014 Oceania Masters Athletics Championships in Bendigo earlier this month proved to be a happy hunting ground for Bundaberg's Vasyl Shuter.
The 65-year-old returned with a swag of eight medals, including gold in the 100m hurdles, silver in the javelin, triple jump, pentathlon and decathlon.
Shuter, who joined the Bundaberg Athletics Club after moving to Moore Park Beach from New South Wales about eight years ago, said he enjoyed not only the competition of Masters events, but also the social aspect.
"This is the third time I've been to an Oceania Maters event and each time I meet people from all over Australia," he said.
"The Masters are held every two years in Australia, New Zealand or a Pacific Ocean country."
"Obviously we try hard to compete but once we're off the track we enjoy a drink together."
Playing basketball in Sydney for 25 years, Shuter first took up athletics after taking his children along.
"My wife asked me to take the kids to little athletics," he said.
"I didn't see the point of sitting and watching so I got involved as well.
"But with athletics and basketball training it was taking up too much time so my wife asked me to choose one and I chose athletics."
Now training at the Bundaberg Athletics track, Shuter divides his time between running and sprints as well as the throwing events, with 5km runs on the weekend thrown in for good measure.
As the oldest member of the Bundaberg Athletics club, Shuter said he enjoyed inspiring the younger generations to stay involved.
"Most of the juniors can beat me which is good for their confidence," he said.
"Hopefully I also inspire them to keep going when they get older.
But Shuter said he also hoped to encourage more parents to get involved instead of just watching their kids take part.
Despite undergoing bypass surgery a few years ago, Shuter said he had no plans to stop competing.
"My times are better than before I had the surgery, so I'm feeling great," he said.
"I'll keep going until my cardiologist tells me to stop."