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1st MASTERS GAMES GEARING UP

By Matt Sgro

The 1st annual Guam Masters Games is less than 2 weeks away and the community could not be more excited for this historic event.

Hundreds of athletes over the age of thirty will be competing in seven different sports from September 9-16. Leo Palace is where the opening and closing ceremony will take place; along with Baseball, Grappling, Golf, and the start of the Half-Marathon. Hilton Resort will host Tennis single and double matches, while the Hagatna Boat Basin will be full of paddling teams. Lastly, basketball teams will pack the UOG Field House throughout the entire week.

Every year, our island sends Masters athletes to various countries around the world to compete in Masters Games. Guam has also played host to the South Pacific Games. However, we have never hosted our own Masters Games. We want to invite masters teams from all around the world to compete against our local athletes. There is so much talent on this small island throughout many sports. Unfortunately, due to travel fees, families, and work, our local athletes are limited to the amount of competitions they can attend abroad. These are some of the main reasons why Tropical Productions and the Guam Masters Federation decided to create an Olympic style competition for our local community.

Each sport has been designated a director to help organize the competitions. Many have expressed their expectations for the inaugural games: Baseball Director, Justin Bennett says, “Once people see the games in action they will come out. Teams are going to be competitive so that will make for good games. It’s all about the game on the field, and that’s what’s really exciting.”

According to Natalie Calvo, Paddling Director, “the format we are using for this race is “Choose Your Weapon.” It is unique in that women’s crews can pit themselves up against men’s crews, OC1 paddlers can race against OC6 crews, Galaide’s, weather permitting, can see how they fare against Hawaiian Class canoes, it will be a great competition.”

Grappling Director, Melchor Manibusan, states that “fans will enjoy the matches since the competitions are in a combat, high-contact sport. Many will be able to appreciate and idolize, or look up to, some of the people on the mat. It will be fun watching these athletes throw down and will be pretty inspiring to watch these guys.”

We expect this event to grow every year, with the addition of more sports and participants. “This has the potential to be the biggest sporting event Guam has ever produced due to the amount of sports taking place in a 1-2 week time period.”

This will not only increase awareness of the talent of our local athletes, but it also help promote our beautiful island on an international scale. We hope that one day; hundreds of athletes will travel to our island to compete in the Guam Masters Games. Registration is still available online at www.guammasters.com or at either Strike Zone locations in Dededo and Hagatna. For more information, contact Matt Sgro, Tropical Productions Event Manager, at 689-7476 or msgro@tpiguam.com.

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Since forming the GNYFF in 2009, the league has never gone without a season until 2020. The league announced their plans to cancel the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

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RIP: Former Guam football player Phil Mendiola, shown here with son Tano, passed away in Las Vegas due to a heart attack. Mendiola played for numerous Guam teams from youth to varsity. He was 39.
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Morgan McKenna (left with black face mask) poses for a photo with Guam Football Association Technical Director Sang Hoon Kim (seated, with blue face mask) and Guam Football Association Assistant Technical Director Ross Awa (standing) after signing his letter of commitment to play intercollegiate men’s soccer for Muskingum University in Ohio. The Fighting Muskies compete in NCAA Division III’s Ohio Athletic Conference.

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