uMhlanga lifesavers ‘Rox’ at world games

Derek Morris and Wayne Holroyd recently returned from New Zealand with a total of nine medals.

TWO north Durban locals glittered in Auckland, New Zealand recently and returned from the World Masters Games with a tally of nine medals. Wayne Holroyd and Derek Morris scooped a total of seven gold medals and two silver from the games, in which lifesaving featured for the first time. The pair are from uMhlanga Rocks Surf Lifesaving Club.

“The World Masters Games is like the Olympics for older people. Competitors are over the age of 35 and most of the events are Olympic sports but every now and then they add a new one,” said Holroyd.

The World Masters Games started in 1985 and takes place every four years. It is the world’s largest multi-sport event with 23 different sporting codes and 28 000 competitors at this year’s event.

Wayne Holroyd in the beach sprints. PHOTO: Simon Riley.


The 41 year-old Holroyd from Mount Edgecombe, is a physiotherapist by profession, and claimed five gold medals for every event he competed in. While he participated in three lifesaving events, Holroyd also ran the 200 metres and 400 metres athletic track races at the games.

His partner in the beach relay (along with two New Zealanders), Derek Morris is a 60 year-old business owner from uMhlanga who won two golds and two silver for lifesaving.
Morris said that winning at the World Masters Games justified the sacrifices made by them to take part.

“To be prepared for something like this takes its toll. You spend a lot of time training that you would otherwise spend with your family as well as the expense of travelling,” he said.
Holroyd explained their reason for participating was passion.

“We compete for the love of it. We have also made so many friends around the world over the years from taking part in these international competitions,” he said, adding that having a goal to work toward is what kept them motivated and allows them to get into top shape.

The competition was fierce Morris concluded, saying that the other participants there were great until they had to compete, when they would ‘bite your head off’, but straight afterward they were once again friendly.

“The locals and especially the Australians gave us a run for our money,” recalled Morris.


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