Master veteran caps year with top award

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Surf lifesaving stalwart Rob Slattery claimed the 2016 Albany veteran sportsperson of the year award on the back of an impressive year that included four gold medals at the World Championships in September.

The 70-year-old, who won the veterans’ category and overall award in 2014, produced another strong year in the water that included a gold and silver medal at the Australian Masters Championships at Maroochydore Beach in April.

However, it was the World Championships in the Netherlands that set Slattery apart from the field.

The veteran surf lifesaver won the 70+ years single ski race, board race, oceanman and board rescue events to go with bronze in the single ski relay and oceanman relay, bettering his three gold medals two years before in Montpellier.

Slattery said he was delighted with his performance in 2016.

“I was very happy with the year overall so I thought I was in with a chance,” he said.

“The worlds and the nationals are very competitive. Both levels are tough, so to come away with results at them was pleasing.”

Slattery also competed at the State Masters Championships at Secret Harbour in February last year, where he collected three gold and three silver medals to assert himself as one of the top surf lifesavers in the State for his age.

With a weekly training schedule that includes two 10km ski paddling sessions, three 1.5km swims, three weights sessions and two 40km road cycling sessions, Slattery said staying motivated was imperative.

“A friend of mine says ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ and I think that is a good way to approach it,” he said.

“I like to keep active because it allows me to do things that I wouldn’t be able to if I wasn’t fit.

“Surf lifesaving provides you with a healthy lifestyle.” Slattery is currently competing at the 2017 Australian Masters Championships on the Gold Coast.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails