By Erin Caizley
Four thousand athletes from across the globe will arrive in Perth over the next two weeks to compete in the World Masters Athletics Championships.
The competition, starting tomorrow, is open to athletes 35 years and older and will host 33 different events including track, discuss and cross country with more than 600 medal ceremonies to be held.
Fifty-one-year-old Dawson Miller, from Woodvale, who was previously a tournament water skier, will compete in the men’s 100-metre track event in the 50 to 55-year-old age category and says these championships don’t compare to local competitions.
“The Worlds are just huge because there’s 4,000 athletes turning up here to take us on,” Mr Miller said.
“It’s the biggest event in Perth this year, so, compared to other events, it’s massive”.
World Masters Athletics Championships’ media manager Andrew Shipp says the Australian athletes are eager to compete.
“There are so many [athletes] who are excited to represent Australia, in Australian colours, here in Perth,” Mr Shipp said.
Mr Shipp said the Championships are great for Western Australian tourism.
“Some of them [athletes] will stay longer and visit the state and it’s a real opportunity for them to see Western Australia and for us to present what we have to offer here in WA.”
Mr Miller says he is feeling a mix of emotions about his event after 33 years off the track, but is reassured that there are benefits of the competition being in Perth.
“I’m feeling a little bit nervous but the good thing is that everybody else is in the same sort of boat, so I’m relaxed at knowing that,” Mr Miller said.
“It’s great that it’s in Perth because it gives athletes like me a chance to compete without having to pay a few thousand dollars to head to Europe for ten days.”
The World Masters Athletics Championships will run from October 26 until November 6, with events taking place at five venues across Perth.
To learn more about Dawson Miller’s story, watch the video below.