Raceview-based Australian hockey striker Arthur Rowe with his Masters World Cup gold medal.
Raceview-based Australian hockey striker Arthur Rowe with his Masters World Cup gold medal. Rob Williams

Fantastic feat: Arthur's golden reward in Spain

HOCKEY: Rejuvenated Ipswich sportsman Arthur Rowe is already plotting more representative opportunities after winning a gold medal at his first Masters World Cup.

Rowe, 74, recently returned from Spain where he shared in the success of the Australian over-75 side.

The Aussie team was awarded the gold medal after finishing with the highest number of points from the round robin format in Barcelona. However, it wasn't until England beat The Netherlands that the Australian players could celebrate their reward.

For former Ipswich Grammar School teacher Rowe, it was a terrific debut in national colours.

"We had to cheer for England,'' he said, waiting on the final result. "If England got up we got the gold . . . and England got up.

"It was a great experience. It was good to be in with a group of good hockey players.''

Joining the Australian, English and Dutch teams in the 11-day over-75 competition were a second English side and a world "Alliance'' combination.

Playing on the right wing or centre forward at different stages in every game, Rowe said it was satisfying seeing how fit and talented the mature aged players were.

"They don't look like 35 year olds running around . . . but they are still skilful and still smart,'' he said.

"I was happy to be able to keep up with them.''

Rowe said a month of preparatory work with Ipswich Regional Coaching Director Sam Spry was valuable before he joined the Aussie team in Spain.

"It was very good to learn from skilful, younger people,'' he said.

Spry, also selected to represent Australia, enjoyed helping Rowe sharpen his skills.

"I love working with Arthur. He's inspirational,'' Spry said.

Before rediscovering a previously lost passion for hockey, Rowe taught at IGS from 1966-2002.

Rowe was also one of Ipswich's leading athletics coaches for four decades, helping elite competitors like Lynten Johnson, Rodney Zuderwyk and Scott Chapman dominate GPS competition and achieve higher level track and field successes.

Back in Ipswich after a post-tournament trip to France, Raceview resident Rowe was keen to enjoy more masters hockey.

He has nominated to represent Queensland at the next national masters championships in Lismore in late September.

The talk is that the next World Cup for masters players could be in Japan in 2020, something that also appeals to Rowe.

"It's whetted my appetite (for more higher level opportunities),'' he said.

In the meantime, he'll maintain his fitness and dietary program that helped him gain selection for his first Australian team.