National | Auckland

Bulletz embody spirit of World Masters Games

South Auckland touch rugby team, Bulletz, have come away with a silver medal from their World Masters Open Women's final.  But it was their commitment to the spirit of the games which saw a colourful display of costumes over the week.

The 2017 World Masters Games (WMG) is hosting 28 sports with 25,000 athletes from 100 countries, under the umbrella "For the Love of Sport", which is something the Bulletz fully support.

Bulletz member Olivia Chapman (Ngāti Raukawa, Te Aupōuri) says it was their coach Phillip Pahina who entered their Women's 27s side into the WMG as a way of topping off a successful touch season.

"Three of our ladies are 40 years old playing in the 27s grade, which is no easy feat!  The body may struggle at times but the mind is still smart." explains Chapman.

The Bulletz just missed out on the gold losing to Waikato's Free Flow, 6-4.

While their performance on the field was up with the best, so too was their spirit of fun and camaraderie.

"The opening ceremony was amazing!  The hype from over 20,000 participants, flashing lights and kiwi music playing.  The performance from Waka Huia and Waiōrea was outstanding and a great way to invite international guests," says Chapman.

"The inspiration for our costumes came from our team colours, the Bulletz logo which was created from the Poker hand of two Aces."

"Touch had overall themes for each day so we made the effort and took it that extra mile," Chapman says.

"The referees allowed us to play in our fairy wings and the opponents thought we were crazy.  We got some laughs but it was all in the spirit of the game!  Day 1 nobody dressed up then days 2, 3 and 4 everyone dressed to impress."

She says, "We've met so many people of different nationalities over the week.  I can't remember how many times we had to explain what touch rugby is!"

"The atmosphere at the World Masters Games was fantastic.  Teams were there to play hard but definitely the social side was there, everyone was on board even the volunteers.  Definitely doing it again in Japan in four years time." says Chapman.

The World Masters Games closing ceremony is being held on Sunday 30 April at Queen's Wharf, Auckland.  The next games will be held in Kansai in 2021.