Mother and daughter Kerrie Jones and Nicola Jones share a curious concept of taking a break.
They’ll travel from their southern NSW homes to the Gold Coast for November’s 2022 Pan Pacific Masters Games [4-13 November] with 69-year-old Kerrie set to compete in no less than six track and field throwing events and Nicola (36) lining up for Games glory in three quite different sports.
And just by entering they have helped achieve a significant milestone with Nicola being the 10,000th and Kerrie the 10,001st entrants in the return edition and the first Pan Pacs since 2018.
It will also be the first time competing on the Gold Coast for both women.
“It’s just so exciting to have a goal again after the Covid break and I can’t wait,” Nicola, a two-time national championships discus thrower for NSW, said.
“I live and work as a remedial massage therapist in Sylvania, south of Sydney.
“My clinic is located next to a friend’s gym and I’m so lucky as I get to be a part of a gym and sporting community, which helps me keep fit.
“Mum and I are flying up together and we’ll be on the Gold Coast for eight days and we can’t wait; it’ll be a great break for us both,” she said.
But a quick glance at their schedules belies the concept of the trip being anything resembling a put-the-feet-up holiday experience.
“Mum will compete on the three days in athletics, and I’ll compete on the Sunday in discus alongside her, which will be really special,” Nicola said.
“Then on Monday and Tuesday I’ll race in the long distance and sprint indoor rowing events and then I’m swimming on Wednesday and Thursday.
“The schedule has worked out perfectly.
“And I need a break away from home because work and life has been so busy lately,” she said after admitting to pushing herself through rowing and track and field training sessions earlier that day.
“But competing with my beautiful mother at our first Pan Pacific Masters Games is the best bit – she’s my hero and has inspired me to return to competing in the sport I loved so much as a child right through to my early 20s – discus.
“Now to be able to travel and compete alongside her in the field events is amazing.
“We just can’t wait to feel the vibe, to meet all the other people and have a great time,” she said.
Kerrie, a former home economist, lives in the small coastal town of Manyana in southern NSW.
It’s a joyfully named beach haven with a population of just over 500 located about two and a half hours drive from Nicola.
She says spending just over a week on the Gold Coast with her daughter will be extra special given the tyranny of distance the five hours round trip between their houses presents.
And she says the 2022 Pan Pacific Masters Games is the next step in her two-decade throwing crusade.
“I’ve always been around sport, junior and senior and when I turned 50, I picked up the shot put,” Kerrie said.
“Women’s shot put was four kilograms until you turned 50 and then it was only three kilograms, so I thought I’d have a go and I haven’t stopped since.
“At the Games I’ll compete in shot, discus, hammer, javelin and weight throw and there’s also a thrower’s pentathlon that covers those five disciplines in one event; that puts me in six events.
“Having time with my daughter is precious and competing in discus together is a first for us in a competition like this and it is extremely special,” she said.