Syd still a competitor
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
AT THE age of 61, former Carlton Australian rules star Syd Jackson can't help but be in contention in a sporting contest.
The memories of his two premiership triumphs on the MCG with the Blues in 1970 and 1972 might be fading but Jackson is a strong contender to take out the A grade title at this week's National Indigenous Golf Titles being held at Bonville.
Narrowly trailling Western Australia's Shaun Nannup, the six handicapper is thrilled to be taking part in a tournament that he helped inaugurate.
"It's been going since 1989 when I sort of started it when I worked for the late Charles Perkins when he was secretary of Department of Aboriginal Affairs and I ran the National Aboriginal Sports Foundation," Jackson recalled.
"We acquired the funds one year to run a national tournament, so that's how it started. Golf has come a long way in the last 15 years. We've got quite a few juniors now with a couple of them playing off one, two and three. They're not here this week because they're playing pennants."
Jackson is impressed with the co-ordination of this year's event at Bonville, as well as the course itself.
"The course here is fantastic, very difficult. It's lot different to what our guys are used to playing. Most of them play on flat courses but this has got hills, creeks and you need to place the ball."
For a man his age, Jackson is remarkably fit.
"I like to keep reasonably fit with a bit of exercise," he said. "I mix it up a bit with a bit of golf and the gym."
Most of that exercise is on the golf course and while he no longer plays off the three handicap he once got down to, Jackson sees many positives in anyone taking up the sport, not just those in the Aboriginal community.
"It's good for the mental side of the game and the etiquette and self discipline," he explained.
"It gives you contacts with all of the walks of life, you're given a handicap so we're all equal and on top of that it's an individual game, you can't blame anybody else."