Seniors compete at Summer Games

News May 15, 2015 by Victoria Gray Brant News

The “golden years” don’t have to limit a senior’s fun and active lifestyle.

This year’s Brant Haldimand and Norfolk District 55+ Summer Games take place throughout May and include activities for all abilities with a wide range of sports.

Gord Mewhiney, director of marketing for the Ontario Senior Games, said more than 8,000 seniors take part in the games that happen in 41 districts throughout Ontario.

“The main reason we do it is to stay socially active,” he said. “We want people to keep, not only their bodies, but their minds active.”

This year, local seniors will participate in 13 different games including five-pin bowling, a golf tournament, snooker, carpet bowling, walking, pickleball, lawn bowling, shuffleboard and double darts.

There are also games that don’t require a lot of physical activity like, euchre, contract bridge and cribbage.

Carolyn Stadnik, president of the local district Summer Games, said despite physical limitations everyone can take part and have fun.

“We will do anything to accommodate people,” she said. “Everyone deserves a chance to play.”

Stadnik requires a walker, but still plays carpet bowling and knows many people who bowl from wheelchairs and walkers.

They even have people who participate in the walking event who use walkers and win. The walking event isn’t a race. People predict how long it will take them to walk a certain distance and the person closest to his or her prediction wins.

Mewhiney said every district is allowed to decide what games to put on from a list of activities that includes anything you can think of, from high jump to knitting. The games vary every year.

“Any conceivable game, really, can be included. It all depends on what the local members want to play,” he said. “As long as there are four people willing to participate we will put it on.”

In the past, the games have included crokinole, tennis and badminton, but this year members have shown little interest in those sports.

Seniors are given pens and a certificate for competing. Those who win receive gold, silver or bronze lapel medals and a chance to go to the regional senior games. Those winners can choose to go to the national games to compete.

“It’s all about fun. I find many people who chose to continue on look at it as a vacation. They compete for a few days and then take part in community events or relaxing,” he said.

Stadnik said many local members participate just for fun and that advancing in the games – even if a competitor wins – is completely voluntary.

“A lot of our members do this for the social aspect and they don’t have to do anything else, we go down the list and if no one wants to go, we don’t send anyone (to regionals). Simple as that,” she said.

Any resident over the age of 55 is welcome to participate, but Mewhiney said it’s hard to get people 55 to 65 years old to participate because they may still have full-time jobs.

This year, the local summer games have attracted about 97 players, down from previous years that saw registrations of about 250.

Mewhiney said next year his goal is to tap into that crowd and try to find a better way of contacting former participants.

“It’s challenging because many older people don’t have email and mailing registration forms to everyone has gotten expensive,” he said. “We have to find a way to keep in contact.”

Another challenge when it comes to involving younger seniors is that many of the games take place in municipally run facilities that are not open on weekends and many weeknights, he said.

Mewhiney said it’s all about the volunteer base and how well they communicate with people and how well committee members work with staff at facilities.

He also wants to implement a fundraising campaign to bring more awareness to the games, get more people involved and offer opening and closing ceremonies with banquets.

Mewhiney said the organization is always looking for volunteers to help run the games and run things behind the scenes in the Brant Haldimand Norfolk District to help get more involvement from outlying areas of the district and offer more games.

“This can only happen with volunteers and even if you’re not 55 you can volunteer and get more involved as you age,” he said.

Seniors compete at Summer Games

Annual competition keeps seniors minds and bodies active

News May 15, 2015 by Victoria Gray Brant News

The “golden years” don’t have to limit a senior’s fun and active lifestyle.

This year’s Brant Haldimand and Norfolk District 55+ Summer Games take place throughout May and include activities for all abilities with a wide range of sports.

Gord Mewhiney, director of marketing for the Ontario Senior Games, said more than 8,000 seniors take part in the games that happen in 41 districts throughout Ontario.

“The main reason we do it is to stay socially active,” he said. “We want people to keep, not only their bodies, but their minds active.”

This year, local seniors will participate in 13 different games including five-pin bowling, a golf tournament, snooker, carpet bowling, walking, pickleball, lawn bowling, shuffleboard and double darts.

There are also games that don’t require a lot of physical activity like, euchre, contract bridge and cribbage.

Carolyn Stadnik, president of the local district Summer Games, said despite physical limitations everyone can take part and have fun.

“We will do anything to accommodate people,” she said. “Everyone deserves a chance to play.”

Stadnik requires a walker, but still plays carpet bowling and knows many people who bowl from wheelchairs and walkers.

They even have people who participate in the walking event who use walkers and win. The walking event isn’t a race. People predict how long it will take them to walk a certain distance and the person closest to his or her prediction wins.

Mewhiney said every district is allowed to decide what games to put on from a list of activities that includes anything you can think of, from high jump to knitting. The games vary every year.

“Any conceivable game, really, can be included. It all depends on what the local members want to play,” he said. “As long as there are four people willing to participate we will put it on.”

In the past, the games have included crokinole, tennis and badminton, but this year members have shown little interest in those sports.

Seniors are given pens and a certificate for competing. Those who win receive gold, silver or bronze lapel medals and a chance to go to the regional senior games. Those winners can choose to go to the national games to compete.

“It’s all about fun. I find many people who chose to continue on look at it as a vacation. They compete for a few days and then take part in community events or relaxing,” he said.

Stadnik said many local members participate just for fun and that advancing in the games – even if a competitor wins – is completely voluntary.

“A lot of our members do this for the social aspect and they don’t have to do anything else, we go down the list and if no one wants to go, we don’t send anyone (to regionals). Simple as that,” she said.

Any resident over the age of 55 is welcome to participate, but Mewhiney said it’s hard to get people 55 to 65 years old to participate because they may still have full-time jobs.

This year, the local summer games have attracted about 97 players, down from previous years that saw registrations of about 250.

Mewhiney said next year his goal is to tap into that crowd and try to find a better way of contacting former participants.

“It’s challenging because many older people don’t have email and mailing registration forms to everyone has gotten expensive,” he said. “We have to find a way to keep in contact.”

Another challenge when it comes to involving younger seniors is that many of the games take place in municipally run facilities that are not open on weekends and many weeknights, he said.

Mewhiney said it’s all about the volunteer base and how well they communicate with people and how well committee members work with staff at facilities.

He also wants to implement a fundraising campaign to bring more awareness to the games, get more people involved and offer opening and closing ceremonies with banquets.

Mewhiney said the organization is always looking for volunteers to help run the games and run things behind the scenes in the Brant Haldimand Norfolk District to help get more involvement from outlying areas of the district and offer more games.

“This can only happen with volunteers and even if you’re not 55 you can volunteer and get more involved as you age,” he said.

Seniors compete at Summer Games

Annual competition keeps seniors minds and bodies active

News May 15, 2015 by Victoria Gray Brant News

The “golden years” don’t have to limit a senior’s fun and active lifestyle.

This year’s Brant Haldimand and Norfolk District 55+ Summer Games take place throughout May and include activities for all abilities with a wide range of sports.

Gord Mewhiney, director of marketing for the Ontario Senior Games, said more than 8,000 seniors take part in the games that happen in 41 districts throughout Ontario.

“The main reason we do it is to stay socially active,” he said. “We want people to keep, not only their bodies, but their minds active.”

This year, local seniors will participate in 13 different games including five-pin bowling, a golf tournament, snooker, carpet bowling, walking, pickleball, lawn bowling, shuffleboard and double darts.

There are also games that don’t require a lot of physical activity like, euchre, contract bridge and cribbage.

Carolyn Stadnik, president of the local district Summer Games, said despite physical limitations everyone can take part and have fun.

“We will do anything to accommodate people,” she said. “Everyone deserves a chance to play.”

Stadnik requires a walker, but still plays carpet bowling and knows many people who bowl from wheelchairs and walkers.

They even have people who participate in the walking event who use walkers and win. The walking event isn’t a race. People predict how long it will take them to walk a certain distance and the person closest to his or her prediction wins.

Mewhiney said every district is allowed to decide what games to put on from a list of activities that includes anything you can think of, from high jump to knitting. The games vary every year.

“Any conceivable game, really, can be included. It all depends on what the local members want to play,” he said. “As long as there are four people willing to participate we will put it on.”

In the past, the games have included crokinole, tennis and badminton, but this year members have shown little interest in those sports.

Seniors are given pens and a certificate for competing. Those who win receive gold, silver or bronze lapel medals and a chance to go to the regional senior games. Those winners can choose to go to the national games to compete.

“It’s all about fun. I find many people who chose to continue on look at it as a vacation. They compete for a few days and then take part in community events or relaxing,” he said.

Stadnik said many local members participate just for fun and that advancing in the games – even if a competitor wins – is completely voluntary.

“A lot of our members do this for the social aspect and they don’t have to do anything else, we go down the list and if no one wants to go, we don’t send anyone (to regionals). Simple as that,” she said.

Any resident over the age of 55 is welcome to participate, but Mewhiney said it’s hard to get people 55 to 65 years old to participate because they may still have full-time jobs.

This year, the local summer games have attracted about 97 players, down from previous years that saw registrations of about 250.

Mewhiney said next year his goal is to tap into that crowd and try to find a better way of contacting former participants.

“It’s challenging because many older people don’t have email and mailing registration forms to everyone has gotten expensive,” he said. “We have to find a way to keep in contact.”

Another challenge when it comes to involving younger seniors is that many of the games take place in municipally run facilities that are not open on weekends and many weeknights, he said.

Mewhiney said it’s all about the volunteer base and how well they communicate with people and how well committee members work with staff at facilities.

He also wants to implement a fundraising campaign to bring more awareness to the games, get more people involved and offer opening and closing ceremonies with banquets.

Mewhiney said the organization is always looking for volunteers to help run the games and run things behind the scenes in the Brant Haldimand Norfolk District to help get more involvement from outlying areas of the district and offer more games.

“This can only happen with volunteers and even if you’re not 55 you can volunteer and get more involved as you age,” he said.