The Taranaki Badminton Super-Veterans team play hours and hours of badminton – which at their age can be hard on the body.
“The trick is pain relief,” Val Cleaver joked.
“No the trick is you just don’t stop playing and keep really fit.”
Cheryl Lawrence, Laurel Hatchard, Elizabeth Ritchie, Cleaver, Steven Saul, Frank Versteeg and Graham Feist are avid players of the sport, taking out the Badminton New Zealand 2017 North Island Division One Super-Veterans Inter-Association competition in September.
The team of 65+ simply love the game as they said, in unison, they have played “forever”.
Badminton matches last 20 minutes to more than an hour and require a strong heart and quick reflexes.
Taranaki Badminton players took out wins throughout the season, which goes from May to September.
The New Zealand Masters National Badminton championships, held in Dunedin last month, saw a heap of awards come back to Taranaki.
Cleaver won four medals in the 65+ and 70+ Mens and Mixed Doubles.
Lawrence also took four top spots in 65+ and 70+ Womens and Mixed Doubles.
And then Hatchard walked away with two medals in the 65+ and 70+ Womens Doubles, while players Denise Darling and Tanya Riddick took out the 45+ Womens Doubles, and Trent Riddick won the 35+ Mens Singles and again in the 40+ Mixed Doubles.
Cleaver and his badminton buddies stood proud next to the collection of shining awards.
“Taranaki has had an exceptional year,” he said.
And he is quite right because earlier in April, Riddick, Darling, Cleaver and Lawrence brought home gold in two categories in the World Master Games, while Hatchard and Lawrence brought back bronze in another two categories.
While a season full of wins has put a pep in their steps, Darling said the sport means more than bringing home a trophy.
“There’s great comradeship, and not with just the provincial players here but all the players across the North Island.”
Lawrence, who is the Super-Vet team captain, said the sport also makes last relationships with people from around the country.
“There’s some pretty old friendships in this,” she said.