Mandurah local Sharon Davis named Masters Sportsperson of the Year

JUST RUN: Sharon says when she rejoined athletics at age 40 her times were even faster than when she was younger. Photo: Sharon Davis Facebook.

JUST RUN: Sharon says when she rejoined athletics at age 40 her times were even faster than when she was younger. Photo: Sharon Davis Facebook.

Turning 40 looks different for everyone - for Mandurah local Sharon Davis it looked like signing up for athletics and spending the next few years smashing records and winning awards.

At the 2021 Mandurah Sports Awards, Sharon was awarded the Masters Sportsperson of the Year, a feat she credited to her supportive athletics community.

"I actually started athletics as a kid, I started at the age of 10 because I was quite good at school sports... I just joined a club from there," Sharon said.

"I did it until the age of 25 and then got back into it at the age of 40 while my kids were doing surf sports at the Port Bouvard Lifesaving Club."

Sharon also got involved in surf lifesaving, completing her bronze medallion as she dipped her toes back into the world of athletics.

"I'm originally from the UK and athletics there is a different set-up than in WA, but I really enjoyed it.

"The masters club here in Perth are so friendly and lovely and it was easy to get into it."

Just run - just run, it's so good for you.

Sharon Davis.

In 2016, Sharon decided to compete in the masters championships which took place in WA.

"The championships in 2016 was in Perth so I went just because It was here - but it kind of flicked a switch in me and I realised I could do better if I concentrated and worked hard."

After being enthralled with the championships in 2016, Sharon trained hard in the lead-up to the next games in 2018, which took place in Malaga, Spain.

"2018 was a really good year for me.

"In Europe it's on a huge scale and we had four tracks to compete on - basically I just missed out on a gold medal in my 800m, it went down to the line.

"It was an amazing experience and the atmosphere over there was huge.

"I actually ran a faster time in 2018 than I did when I was younger."

MASTERS: Sharon received Masters Sportsperson of the Year at the 2021 Mandurah Sports Awards. Photo: Sharon Davis Facebook.

MASTERS: Sharon received Masters Sportsperson of the Year at the 2021 Mandurah Sports Awards. Photo: Sharon Davis Facebook.

When COVID hit, travelling to compete in athletics games was no longer an option, but Sharon said the WA community was strong and adapted accordingly.

"It was disappointing not being able to travel but we are really lucky here in WA.

"Even when we had lockdown we were still able to go and do fitness for that hour.

"Being a runner it's easy to run along the beach to maintain training, but from a competition point of view it was a little disappointing."

Being named Masters Sportsperson of the Year came as an amazing surprise to Sharon, who said she was constantly surrounded by amazing athletes.

"It was brilliant - I was totally shocked because the competition is huge and we've got some talented people here in Mandurah.

"The competitors every year have been outstanding and it was amazing to be up against them - I'm very grateful.

"You know what? My favourite thing about athletics is the people I meet. I've made lots of similar, like-minded friends from all over the world."

When Sharon isn't undertaking her 6-day-a-week training schedule, she is spending time with her family and enjoying the beauty that the City of Mandurah has to offer.

"I have two children in their 20s, a husband and two Dalmatians that I'm often out and about with.

"We hang out a lot together in Mandurah and enjoy each other's company."

As for the advice she would give to anyone considering joining athletics, Sharon said "absolutely give it a go."

"From masters down to the kids it's an amazing sport.

"It's just so good and healthy for you - the environment and the people you meet are so encouraging and I really do recommend it to anyone.

"Just run - just run, it's so good for you."