4 Reasons to Cheer for the Senior Games

The Olympics are a big deal this summer but we’re more excited about events taking place right here in our own backyard: the 55+ Games. Thousands of senior athletes, officials, coaches and spectators across the country will join together to take part in dozens of sports and activities at local and provincial events, culminating with the Canada 55+ Games in Brampton this August.

It’s only natural that we’re supporting the spirit of the senior games at BayBridge Senior Living. “Wellness is so important to our philosophy,” says Alison Keller, Site Development Ambassador for BayBridge. “Each of our communities supports our residents with a personalized wellness plan for mind, body and spirit.” Read on to discover four great reasons to get behind the senior games.

Wide variety of events

The summer and winter senior games take place in alternating years with events divided into three categories. Core sports in the summer 55+ Games include golf, tennis, bocce, pickleball, slo-pitch and track & field. Unlike the Olympics, the 55+ Games include non-active events that challenge the mind, such as cribbage, euchre, Scrabble and bridge. The Ontario 55+ Games also offers a prediction walk where participants must estimate the time it will take them to walk a specified distance, such as one kilometre. “The person closest to their estimated time is the winner, whether it takes five minutes or three hours,” says Vince Mercuri, Recreation Coordinator for the City of Hamilton, who has assisted with the Ontario 55+ Games since they began in 1986. “We encourage as many seniors as possible to take part as a matter of their ability.”

Many ways to get involved

Getting involved in the senior games is easy whether you want to play or volunteer. Start by finding the volunteer-run association for senior games in your province, including Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and B.C. To take part as a player (or see what the 55+ Games are all about), look for upcoming matches in your home district on the provincial website. Or contact the association to find out whether they need volunteers to handle tasks such as marshaling races or registering participants on game day.

Local summer fun

Get out there to cheer! Visit your province’s website to get the schedule for local tournaments. Mark your calendar for big events, such as Ontario 55+ Games in Midland from August 9th to 11th, or the Canada 55+ Games from August 16th to 19th in Brampton, Ontario. While you’re in Midland, stop by for a tour of Tiffin House, a BayBridge Senior Living community in the heart of the region.

Winning isn’t everything

Sure, winners earn medals but everyone gets something more valuable: great memories. “Participants take away the three Fs: fun, fitness and friendship,” says Shauna Bookal, Games Coordinator for the Canada 55+ Games. “It’s a chance to meet people from around the country who share the same passion, and to reconnect with friends they haven’t seen since the last Games.” A volunteer at the Windsor games in 2014 remembers seeing an 80-something competitor in the prediction walk sit down on a park bench to watch a passing ship during his event. “He said, ‘I’m not here to win, I’m just going to enjoy the moment.’”

You can be as active as you like at a BayBridge community. Visit us to find out how we can help.

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