Sisters: Masters are ‘what sport’s all about’

The Garland family (from left) Vicki Thomson, Rae and Russell Garland and Tracey Kelly back...
The Garland family (from left) Vicki Thomson, Rae and Russell Garland and Tracey Kelly back together at the Edgar Centre during the Masters Games yesterday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
One of Dunedin’s most notable basketball families is enjoying being together again.

Sisters Vicki Thomson and Tracey Kelly (both nee Garland) are back in town to play at the Masters Games.

They are staying with their parents Rae and Russell Garland — both of who remained involved in refereeing until recent years.

The sisters had won their first two games and were enjoying playing with each other and having their parents on the sidelines.

"It’s nice for them to see us still playing, they’re in their 70s," Thomson (52) said.

"It’s like old times.

"Mum’s making dinner and doing our washing, it is like the old days.

"When we were younger and played a lot Mum would always make sure we had lunch together in the weekends."

The pair had played together growing up and attended Logan Park High School.

Kelly (49) went on to have a successful Tall Ferns career, while Thomson played for the New Zealand under-20 team.

Both still played, although their appearances on court together had been few.

Kelly had lived in Dubai for the past 12 years and was a "basically retired" lawyer.

Thomson had been in Christchurch since 1994 and is a graphic designer.

They had played together at the World Masters Games in Auckland in 2017.

Before that it had been "many years".

It was the same with many of the others in their team — some they had not played with for 30 years.

While playing basketball together again was satisfying, Kelly said it was as much about the friendships and the things they did off the court.

"Masters is always a brilliant thing," she said.

"The spirit of the Masters is something that you can’t replicate and you don’t even think about when you’re younger.

"But when you’re older the Masters Games is such a nice vibe.

"I played netball earlier in the week and there’s a lot of giggling and laughing and it’s a really nice atmosphere.

"It just reminds you what sport’s all about."

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