JIMBOOMBA firefighter Matthew Gartrell is preparing to compete in 26 events at this year’s annual Australiasian Police and Emergency Services Games on the Sunshine Coast next week.
Gartrell will compete in a range of events from track and field, to water sports and his flagships events billiards and snooker.
Gartrell said while his training involves hours of gruelling weights and cardio he has still found time to work on his pool skills.
“I’m busy training at the moment to make sure I can compete in 26 events, meaning a lot of cardio, weights and stretching – and I will be making sure I get to the snooker table for some quality practice,” Gartrell said.
“Sport has always been a large part of my life, so being involved in the Games gives me a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and engage in some friendly competition.”
He has become a renowned snooker player having travelled to the United Kingdom in 2011 as part of the Australian Junior Team in 8 Ball World Championships.
Gartrell said he grew up playing pool with his father who had been competing in competitions for about 10 years prior to him starting.
He said while he is used to playing competitive pool he still enjoys a social game with his friends at the pub.
“People expect that I would get over competitive but I love lowering my standard and enjoying the game,” he said.
The APES Games will feature sportsmen and women from police, military, customs, surf lifesaving and ambulance starting on October 8 and running across the week at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
The games will be Gartrell’s second after he medalled in 10 of the 11 events he competed in at the 2014 APES Games, he is hoping to improve on that figure this time round.
“Being a part of the Games is also a great opportunity to represent QFES and Jimboomba Fire Station, along with Babinda Station in Far North Queensland where I spent three years as an auxiliary firefighter.”
The Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games is free to the public from October 8-14.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.