Ageless hockey stalwart Helen Lansdown has capped off her 20th appearance in NSW colours in stunning fashion.
Lansdown helped NSW to the gold medal in the over 65s division of the Australian Masters Hockey Championships in Newcastle at the weekend, scoring two goals during her side’s emphatic 8-0 rout of Western Australia in the final.
The loyal Royals club member also finished as the top goal scorer in her age group along with teammate Joan Hart.
Additionally, she was named the best player of the gold medal match and helped NSW to the Meg Wilson trophy as the best state across all age groups.
Lansdown, who is in peak physical condition at 67 years-of-age, said it was the ideal way to celebrate her 20th appearance for her state.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” she said.
“It’s certainly not something you expect.”
The modest striker said her NSW team had entered the tournament full of confidence, having won the inaugural over 65 tournament last year and the over 60 competition four of the past five years.
But she attributed the impressive run of success to a near-flawless group of teammates.
“We just don’t have any weak spots and everyone contributes,” she said.
“We really did have an especially strong lineup this year.
“Our fitness was the key and that’s something that a lot of people who watched us commented on.
“Having great fitness is always such an advantage.”
While nothing tops winning a gold medal, for Lansdown, the camaraderie among teammates has always been her favourite part of competing at the Masters.
“The main aim of the Masters really is the camaraderie rather than the actual outcome of the games,” she said.
“It’s great to win, but it’s even better just to be there competing with women from across the state who share the same passion.
“A lot of us have played together for a long time and we get along extremely well and have total respect for each other.
“Our team leaders have been able to mould the team brilliantly.
“They’ve been an inspiration for the rest us on and off the field.”
Having abided by an increased and strict training regime in the lead up the competition - putting in additional sessions with young Royals talents Zoe Wild and Kalee Gibbons – Lansdown will now take a well-earned rest from playing.
She will be back for the Royals when local play resumes next year.