Southport Sharks is a leading entertainment, sports and leisure precinct. Featuring two restaurants, a café, six bars, kids’ club, gaming facilities and free entertainment, it is the most happening venue on the north end of the Coast. And, they have some amazing new deals that you need to know about!

Here’s the scoop for our readers – in 2021 membership is only $5. Plus joining as a member comes with heaps of benefits including $20 of food and drink credit on the month of your birthday. You’ll have plenty of time to use up those credits – Southport Sharks is open every day of the week, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Let’s start with everyone’s favourite subject. Food! Here, seniors are in luck. Southport Sharks have a seniors’ discount if you are a member. Simply present your Sharks membership card and seniors’ card to get $2 off the dining menu, seven days a week.

Frenzy’s Restaurant is a favourite of Gold Coasters. Both members and guests can eat here. Between 11.30am and 2.00pm you can enjoy a delicious lunch from just $13. Our pick is the beer[1]battered flat head fish and chips. You can also order something from the premium range starting at $16 which includes Roast of the Day with roast potato, pumpkin, greens and rich pan gravy.

Southport Sharks Carmodys
Dinner at Carmodys

More Food

If you are an early riser, then check this out. Breakfast menu delights include the Brekky Burrito – toasted tortilla with scrambled egg, baby spinach, Mexican cheddar, chipotle, chorizo, guacamole and tomato salsa Yum! They also serve traditional breakfasts too.

There is an à la carte menu available for lunch or dinner which includes crowd favourites such as chicken schnitzel and roast of the day, along with newcomers like creamy chicken and chorizo linguini. This dish is crafted with Portuguese style chicken breast, chorizo, semi-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, caramelised leek, egg pasta and shaved pecorino.

Carmody’s Bar and Restaurant is an award[1]winning, stylish restaurant offering modern Australian Cuisine. It is open for lunch on Friday from 12pm-2pm, and dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5.30pm. It is THE place to end your week in style. You will adore the exemplary service and the exceptional dining experience. After your meal, you can stay longer to enjoy the elegance and sophistication of Carmody’s Bar. Make sure you sample the selection of premium spirits, fine wines and delicious cocktails.

You can book online for Carmody’s or Frenzy’s via or call 07 5532 1155.


Southport Sharks’ super-modern Health and Fitness Centre has a wide selection of Les Mills classes, and a team of experienced personal trainers. From cycling to yoga, this is where you can go to hit your workout goals.

Fitness center at Southport Sharks
Southport Sharks Entry
Entry of the Southport Sharks


If you don’t want the great night to end, you can stay at the on-site hotel. Mantra at Sharks has 120 rooms so the good times can roll on. At the top of the hotel sits the stunning Aviary Rooftop Bar. The hotel also has light-filled meeting spaces ideal for gatherings or conferences. To book, call 07 5603 3200.


There are over 500 free car parks for Southport Sharks members and guests. Nice! We will see you there. ■


Corner of Olsen Avenue and Musgrave Avenue, Southport

Ph: 07 5532 1155


SILVER SHITBOXERS: Story of Greg and Louise

SILVER SHITBOXERS: Story of Greg and Louise

Greg Canning (56) & Louise Canning (57) have signed up for the Shitbox Rally for a  second time this year. Even though Greg works for Channel Seven as their building services manager, Louise is a store manager for Wallace Bishop. Greg fills us in on how he and Lou are preparing for the Autumn event.

Silver Shitboxers and their love for princess theme
Even the car is a princess

Our Journey for Participating in the Shitbox Rally

We first heard about the Shitbox Rally about five or six years ago. We just thought it sounded like fun! The kind of event we had to be a part of. We applied and didn’t make the cut the first year…or the second year, or the third year. This was due to the limit of 250 teams per rally, which is easier to manage from a logistics perspective.

Princess day celebration among Silver Shitboxers
Princess Day – everyone had to dress like a princess!

We were finally accepted to take part in the 2019 10th anniversary rally, travelling from Perth to Sydney via Uluru. The fact that it was the tenth anniversary of the rally held a special significance for us. It was the tenth anniversary of Lou’s breast cancer diagnosis as well as her ten year work anniversary. The rally was the first and only 10-day rally. What a marvellous 10 days that rally was! There is still a waiting list, but now, with two  shitbox rallies each year, getting yourself onto a rally should be somewhat quicker.

We are currently raising as much money as we can for the cause, which hasn’t been helped by the Covid situation. We’ve really had to think outside the box to come up with options that don’t require gatherings or group type activities.

Silver Shitboxers taking part of the vibrant rally
Greg and Louise’s buddy group of cars

Fundraisers by Silver Shitboxers

One of our current fundraising activities has Lou making all shapes and sizes of beautiful dreamcatchers which  we offer for sale. I’ve been creating all manner of decorative laser[1]cut and engraved items from candle holders and lamps to welcome signs, cake toppers and personalised Christmas decorations. (Check out The products are beautiful, and all profits go to cancer research.)

We are busily preparing ourselves and the car for the rally as the date is rapidly approaching. One item we really need before we go is a replacement windscreen. That might sound like a strange requirement but ours has a long crack across the middle and if you lose a windscreen on the rally, your rally is over…You’re not going to find a spare where we go! We also need to prepare a list of required provisions for the trip. Drinking water is an example. We need plenty in case we’re stuck by the side of the road for hours due to a breakdown. But water supplies are heavy and take up space, so too much isn’t going to help anyone.

Silver Shitboxers enjoying a formal party
Formal night at Uluru

Silver Shitboxers on the Go

We will be travelling in groups of seven or eight cars. THE golden rule of the rally is that if a car in your group breaks down the whole group stops and everyone stays together until the problem is resolved. While we most of us aren’t mechanics, there is always one person in each group that does have these reasonable mechanical skills and some essential tools. There are also support teams travelling as part of the rally. These teams have 4WD vehicles, car trailers, and more well stocked toolboxes for when breakdowns occur. Once they arrive on scene, if they can’t get you back on the road in 20 minutes or so, it’s onto a trailer with your Shitbox. You have to find a seat for yourself in another team’s car. Your Shitbox goes to the triage at the next overnight stop.

Crafty Markets – to raise money for the Cancer Council

Rally participants come from all walks of life and span a very broad range of ages and experiences. On the last rally, we had a couple of young guys from Yinarr (apparently that’s pronounced yeah‑nah) in Victoria. There was a lovely couple from Kandos who have since retired, with the rest of us ranging through our 40s and 50s. It is a very broad constellation of people.

The car we are using is the same VZ Commodore Wagon we drove in the 2019 rally. We call her “Pearl.” While it doesn’t sound like a car you’d be able to buy it for under $1000, when you see this car, you’ll realise why. People think that everything that has been done to this car we did ourselves, because we are entering it into the Shitbox Rally. She looks like a crazy painted shitbox should, but, that’s how we bought her! All we did was put our sponsors’ stickers on her!

Our Car

Mechanically speaking, she’s okay. I had to replace the cam chains in her after the last rally but, she’s a good car. Let’s face it, she made it through the last rally…All 5150 kilometres of it. We did tear the exhaust system off on day four, so it was rather loud going from that point on. This included the drive home from Sydney to Brisbane! All cars have to be roadworthy too, which is a tough call for cars worth $1000 or less.

Louise car surfing

The rally is such a rewarding event – the people that you meet are absolutely sensational. The sites, and experiences are sensational too. Before we did the 2019 rally, I struggled to get Lou in a car to drive anywhere more than an hour away! She hated driving! We would drive five minutes down the road and she’d say, “Are we there yet?” Once we did the rally, she was converted! We have since driven up to the Whitsundays and back a couple of times, and even chosen to drive rather than fly to Sydney twice!

During the 2019 rally I really “let myself go” for effect to try to look like a pirate. I am normally clean-shaven with a short back and sides. By the end of it I wore a bandanna and had a plaited beard. My hair turned red, courtesy of the red dust that the Outback is made from.


The scenery and vistas are amazing. You see a  lot of wildlife out there – emus, kangaroos, camels. There are no hotels where we go. It’s all camping. Normally we camp where there are some sort of facilities. So basically, you drive all day, you get to your overnight to stop, fill up the car, and set up then tent, sleep, then get up for breakfast! And do it all again! Moreover, there’s often nothing but open spaces, and delightful scenery from the start of each day to the next overnight stop. And, of course, there’s the odd “Code Yellow” (10 hours a day in a car I’m sure you can work it out!). It all adds up to a wonderful experience. ■

To donate to Greg’s Team, go to autumn2021. All the money goes to cancer research. Let’s beat this shitshow of a disease!


This year, the Shitbox Rally Autumn will be held 22-28th May. Half the field will be travelling from Alice Springs to The Gold Coast via the Gulf of Carpentaria. And shortly afterwards, the other half of the teams plus the organisers and officials will set off from Gold Coast on the reverse route. The Spring Shitbox Rally runs from the 9th-15th October 2021, travelling from Mackay to Darwin.

Read more articles about Silver citizens of Gold Coast by clicking here.



Welcome to the whole bag of crazy that is the Shitbox Rally. It’s a super-fun way to raise money for charity. This year, the event finishes up at the Gold Coast. And then, it starts from the Gold Coast again just a few days later!

Shitbox Rally
Cars participating in the Shitbox Rally

This is not a race. It is a challenge to drive cars worth just less than $1,000 across Australia via some of the Outback’s most formidable roads. This is all in the name of raising money for cancer research.

Sea of Cars Participating in the Shitbox Rally
Sea of Cars Participating in the Shitbox Rally

The founder of the Shitbox Rally, James Freeman, started the event after losing both his parents to cancer within 12 months of each other. His amazing idea has now turned into a wildly expanding spectacle. Says Freeman, “In every rally, we drive to – and through – the Outback. But for Shitbox Rally Autumn 2021 we are starting there! This unusual route has us starting in the centre of Australia, travelling North initially to Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria before heading South East for the long drive to the Gold Coast.

Participants of the Shitbox Rally
Cars participating in the Shitbox Rally

Fifty per cent of the route is unsealed with plenty of river crossings to keep the teams challenged. Even the sealed road sections will be interesting and incredibly varied – from the red earth of Central Australia, to the Devil’s Marbles, to National Parks and to the mountainous terrain of the Great Dividing Range. There are plenty of challenges, plenty to see, and a huge amount to experience in just under 4,000 kilometres and seven days.”


The route in 2021 will cover over 3962 kilometres. In both the out and back legs, there will be 250 teams of 2, driving their wildly-decorated shitboxes. There will also be around 50 support personnel, who each pay their own way to make the rally a reality. All will traverse some of Australia’s dustiest, most iconic outback roads for seven days of fun, dust, and sweat. They will also be dressing up in some outrageous costumes – not just at night, but all day! Participants spend the entire day in costume. That’s breakfast, driving, repairing, and, if there’s a pub at the end, they are in costume for that as well!

Shitbox Rally Location
Area where Shitbox Rally starts

This event is officially endorsed and supported by Cancer Council. Fundraising records continue to be broken year after year by the rally, with more than $20 million donated to Cancer Council since the event began in 2009.


Interesting in applying? If you don’t like to get your hands dirty, or spend any time away from civilisation, this rally is not for you. This is a challenge for those who want to get their teeth into something meaningful and crave something different. Remember, you could be in the middle of Australia, miles from anywhere, trying to fix a split radiator hose with duct tape, string and pliers. You will be dirty, dusty, and maybe muddy…but you’ll still have a smile on your face, and you won’t be alone. There will be no motels, few showers, and you’ll be camping at every night. So you’ll need to bring plenty of wet wipes as well as your own tent, sleeping bag and mattress or swag. It’s  an adventure in the true sense of the word.

Senior participants of the Shitbox Rally
Trouble in Paradise

Each team is made up of a car with two drivers. Back seats are kept clear so they can carry passengers when other shitboxes don’t manage the entire journey. That said though, the support crews will do absolutely everything within their power to get as many cars as possible to the finish line. The cars are an asset, donated by all the teams, and sold at a public auction the day after the rally ends.


The Shitbox Rally is not a race; however awards are given at the end of the rally. There are awards decided in the early stages – such as the coveted “least likely to finish” trophy.

Happy Participants of the Shitbox Rally
Vibrant and youthful participants

There’s an award given for the team (or individual) who is deemed to have gone the furthest above and beyond what would normally be expected the “Spirit of the Rally.” And there are awards for the highest fundraisers. For more information Jump onto While you’re there, check out some amazing videos of past rallies. If you’re into social media, you can follow the action on Facebook  and Instagram with the tag @shitboxrally. ■

The Ideal Protein To Help Seniors Rebuild Lost Muscle

The Ideal Protein To Help Seniors Rebuild Lost Muscle

EXERCISE BUFFS have long used protein supplements to gain muscle. But new research from McMaster University suggests one protein source, in particular, whey protein, is different. It is the Ideal Protein To Help Seniors struggling to rebuild muscle lost from inactivity associated with illness or long hospital stays.

The study, published online in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, compared the impact of different forms of protein supplements on older adults. They are a growing population challenged by the loss of muscle and strength or sarcopenia. Sarcopenia can affect balance, gait, and the ability to perform the simple tasks of everyday life. Researchers found that protein did not stop lean muscle loss caused by inactivity, however, whey supplements helped to rebuild muscle once the participants’ activities resumed.

Says Stuart Phillips, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster, “The important message here is that not all proteins are created equal. Whey is one of the highest quality proteins and is ideal for older persons.”

For the study, researchers recruited men and women who were non-smokers, non-diabetic and between the ages of 65 and 80 years old. One group of subjects consumed whey protein, the other collagen peptides, throughout the study.

Whey is considered a high-quality or complete protein, meaning it is rich in all essential amino acids and is higher in leucine. Leucine is one of the essential amino acids the body cannot make itself and therefore, must be derived from food. Collagen peptides, by comparison, are much lower in their leucine content, lack or are low in essential amino acids.

For a five-week period, their diet was controlled, including a two-week time frame where their daily steps were restricted to 750 per day and their calorie intake reduced by 500 calories per day, conditions that might mimic what older people often experience during a hospital stay. Participants returned to normal activity levels during a one-week recovery period. The team had predicted that the collagen peptide the group would experience a significantly greater muscle loss than the whey protein group, but that didn’t happen. Both groups lost the same amount of muscle.

Says Sara Oikawa of the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster, “While we already know that complete protein sources are more potent for stimulating building processes we were surprised to discover that after two weeks of limiting steps among the participants, there were no apparent differences in muscle loss between the two groups.”

While protein was ineffective in mitigating muscle loss, say researchers when participants returned to normal, muscle-building activity, the whey group recovered more skeletal muscle. “When we consider measures that can be taken to help seniors as they age, it’s clear that whey is an important ingredient. Conversely, we should avoid collagen in formulations targeting older people,” says Oikawa.

In future research, Oikawa plans to focus on women specifically, who tend to experience greater difficulties in rebuilding strength. Whey protein is just another thing we can thank cows for. Thanks, Daisy!

Want to know more about exercise tips for senior citizens, click here

The Ideal Protein To Help Seniors
Ideal Protein To Help Seniors

Translate »