Organizers of the annual 55+ BC Games are encouraging more people to take part in this annual sporting event.
This year, the games will be held in Kimberly and Cranbrook Sept 11-15. It often draws over 3,000 athletes from all over the province.
The BC Senior Games Society wants more people to experience the games and the Regional District of Nanaimo is helping out by offering potential participants a chance to “Give it a Try.”
The RDN, in partnership with Nanoose Place and the local chapter of the 55+ Seniors games, has been awarded a “Give it a Try” grant from the BC Recreation and Parks Association to help promote the 55+ games.
“We were given $1,500 to highlight the opportunities that the seniors in the community can have by participating in the 55+ BC Seniors Games,” said RDN’s Recreation and Parks programmer Jennifer Hopewell. “In kind of a lead up to the event in Kimberly-Cranbrook, we want to get people to start thinking about it now either for this year or next year and all the sporting activities that they can partake in.”
The senior games feature over 30 sporting events that include card games, board games like darts and more active games like hockey, tennis, cycling, table tennis, pickleball and many others.
RDN will be hosting free Give it a Try events to encourage senior residents to take up a new activity or take their current activities to the next level and participate in the upcoming games.
“They can check out the sports and try it either as a new activity that they haven’t done before,” said Hopewell. “We also found out that a lot of people in the community are playing these sports but haven’t thought about going to the games as an opportunity with those sports. We are just trying to make those connections.”
On May 28, the events that will be feature at Oceanside Place include hockey, table tennis, cycling, pickleball, whist, bridge and cribbage. Then on June 9, the events will be held at Nanoose Place and they include pickleball, badminton, carpet bowling, floor curling, whist, bridge and cribbage.
“We will have both representatives at both sites to answer questions about it and show what the options are,” said Hopewell. “We want them to come out and just try out the events that are available. They don’t have to register. It’s free. Just drop in.”
Eldan Davis, who is 83 years old, and his wife Shirley, have competed in floor curling at the BC seniors games twice in Penticton and Prince George. The Qualicum Beach residents said it’s not all about the competition that makes the whole experience memorable.
“Me and my wife enjoyed it very much,” said Davis. “The companionship, meeting all the people from al over the province was great. We always had a good time.”
This year Davis will not be competing as his back has been problematic lately. However, he will be there to support his wife Shirley, who will be competing for Zone 2 in floor curling.
“I can play a couple of games but you go to the games you might have to play five, six games and my back would not stand it right now,” said Davis. “I am hoping things will improve.”
Davis advice any seniors to give the 55+ BC Seniors Games a try.
“It’s good companionship and exercise,” said Davis. “It’s a good way of meeting people and I would highly recommend it.”
Those who are eligble for the 55+ BC Games are persons who are at least 55 years old by December 31, the year of the games.
They must be residents of British Columbia, have their principal residences in the zone for which they are competing and must be a member of the BC Seniors Games Society.