Former teammates and rivals joined together to win a gold medal in soccer in the competitive women's 35 to 45 age group at the World Masters Games in Torino, Italy last week.
The Meralomas United team placed first in its age division following a 1-0 victory over the Canadian All Reds from Ontario in the championship final.
The Lower Mainland-based team was made up of ex-university players from Simon Fraser and UBC, who went to play in the Metro Women's Soccer League clubs Meralomas and Westside.
At 35, goalie Sandy Mann of Burnaby was the youngest player on the squad. A Meraloma women's team first won a gold medal at the fifth World Games in Melbourne, Australia. A Westside team took home a bronze from Down Under in Sydney in 2009.
But this time is the first time the two adversaries teamed up together, said Mann. "We laugh about that now," Mann said about the former rivals, adding now its all about enjoying the sport and your teammates.
Local Loma United players from include, strikers Jemma Scoble and Sarah Hill from Burnaby, North Shore residents Liz Palmer, Laura Pupp, Kimberly Hobbs, Terri Newell and Gretchen McLenen, as well as Richmond's Maleena Pardhan and Vancouver players Linda Butterfield, Kari Montrichard, Shannon Dalloway-Jones, Shelan Miller, Colleen Anderson and Christine Oliver.
The Meraloma's ended the tournament with seven wins and just one loss, allowing only five goals. The World Masters is an international tournament held every four years to promote lifelong competition, friendship and understanding between mature sports people, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or sport status.
This year was the eighth edition of the Games and participants over the age of 30 from 180 different countries were given the opportunity to complete in various summer Olympic games. This year's Games drew more than 28,000 participants.
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