This sporting life: Duncraig man still swinging into his 60s


Vin Shain. Picture: Martin Kennealey d472379
Vin Shain. Picture: Martin Kennealey d472379

ON paper, Vin Shain might be considered a senior but his lifestyle says otherwise.

At 65 years old, the Duncraig accountant has broken his indoor cricket team’s record by playing more than 874 games.

The Committee Indoor Cricket Team, which plays at Seamer Sports Centre on Wednesdays, was formed by life members of the Carine Junior Football Club in 1989.

Shain coached at the club for 15 years while his two sons played.

“There was a dozen or so dads who became life members,” Shain, who joined in 1994, said.

“I’m the only dad still playing and their sons are playing now.”

Vin Shain before he played his 874th game of indoor cricket for the Committee Indoor Cricket Team.

Shain first started playing indoor cricket in 1981, having now played for 37 consecutive years.

“I love it,” he said.

“The fitness and mixing with younger people is keeping me young.

“I play with people about 20 to 22 years of age.”

He estimated he had played more than 1500 games.

“There’s a summer and winter season with only a two-week break,” he said.

“I’ve missed one or two games because of commitments but I generally average over 40 to 44 games a year,” he said.

He said despite his age he felt he was “still a good contributor to the team”, having won the best and fairest “only a couple of seasons ago”.

On top of this, Shain also plays competitive baseball with the Carine Cats and has just played 400 games.

“I play D grade with mostly 18 to 30 year olds in the team and a few in the 30 to 35 age group,” he said.

“I have been playing for 22 consecutive years with one team and one club.

“I started to coach children when my two boys played at Carine Baseball Club.

“I learnt the game and loved it, so I started playing.

“The most satisfying thing was playing with both my boys on several occasions when they hit the seniors for over-17s; it was a huge thing to play games with my sons.”

The team won its first premiership in 2004-05 when Shain was captain and coach.

“We had been bridesmaids for four or five years so to win was one of the greatest things as far as sporting achievements,” he said.

“We were a struggling club at that point in time but since then, we have gone on to greater things and won quite a few premierships.”

Shain said he had played sport all his life, with a passion for athletics and Aussie Rules football, starting when he was at Scotch College boarding school.

“I was picked up by West Perth in 1971 and played four seasons for them,” he said.

“I played mostly reserves; legends like Polly Farmer, Bill Dempsey and Norm Nell kept me out. In 1975 I got engaged, then married in 1976, then had three kids, so I dropped footy.

“I was finishing my uni degree, had full time work and I could see footy wasn’t going anywhere.”

Vin Shain and team manager Barry Dedman who started the Committee Indoor Cricket Team in 1989.

However, when he turned 50 in 2002, he joined Wembley Veterans Football Club, where he played for 10 years.

“As a coach (for Carine Junior Football Club) I was involved in training and I was feeling fit,” he said.

“Now that I had seen my boys through the juniors I thought I wouldn’t mind playing some veteran footy.

“I played about 120 games and captained the state over-50s team. I would have continued but I had prostate cancer,” he said.

“I had my prostate removed and was back on the baseball field four weeks later.

“I wasn’t going to let it get me down; no way was it going to defeat me.”

Though Shain shows no signs of slowing down, he said this could be his last season of baseball.

“I hope to continue but my knees are starting to tell me a couple of things,” he said.

“Cricket is not as strenuous so I will stay involved for as long as I can.

“I’m scared to do nothing; I’m not one to just sit and twiddle my thumbs.”

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