Pan Pac Games more than fun
IT isn't quite the mature-age sex fest some are making it out to be but competing in the Pan Pacific Masters Games is not just about winning medals for a team of Cairns touch football greybeards.
Sportscene co-owners Billy Lavis and Brett Stubbins have taken a team of 14 players to the Gold Coast this week to compete in the games.
"We're not very good touch players, but we're good mates," Lavis said jokingly.
The 54-year-old laughed at the mention of a report in the weekend's edition of The Sunday Mail that suggested condom and Viagra sales would increase on the Gold Coast during the games.
"You only have to go to the bar at the Games Village to see what they all get up to," an unnamed female competitor told Gold Coast reporter Jeremy Pierce.
"It's like a blue light disco with all the pashing on the dance floor and stuff. They certainly come here to have a good time.
"I'd like to have shares in Terry White Chemists because the amount of condoms and Viagra pills they sell must be just huge."
That might be the case for some but for Lavis, Stubbins and team-mate Terry Moore it certainly was not.
"That's got to be a joke," Moore said.
"We go down there for a trip away and to play touch footy."
Lavis said the team would not just be there to soak up the fun in Sin City.
"It's about 60 per cent social," he said. "But we are all touch players and we want to win."
The team has been training at Woree High School each Sunday morning to get used to playing in the heat of the day.
"Our tournaments up here all take place at night so we don't really get much of an opportunity to play in the day," Lavis said.
The team, which is called Sportscene, has won regional tournaments and competed in state and national competitions.
Meanwhile, Cairns representatives will use this week's Pan Pacific Masters event on the Gold Coast to promote next year's inaugural Great Barrier Reef Cairns Masters next year.
Twenty-one sporting organisations have confirmed interest in the event and event supporter Brian Prove said it could bring more than 2000 visitors to the region.
"That's a fairly conservative number," he said. "We think that it's going to surpass that and I have no doubt in my mind that it will grow."
He will be on the Gold Coast with Tourism Tropical North Queensland sports co-ordinator Sue Carroll to promote the event, which will take place every two years.
Prove hopes the event will eventually match the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast, which has drawn 12,000 participants this year.
"We think it's a great alternative because the Gold Coast takes place every two years and so will Cairns," he said.
"We hope it will attract support from not just Australia but across the entire region."
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Regional asset: Cairns touch legend Brian Prove is on the promotion trail. Picture: MIKE WATT