Regina seniors get competitive, active and social at 11th annual seniors games
'It really brings that sense of community a little closer,' says College Park II recreation therapist
Seniors at College Park II retirement home in Regina just completed a competitive week of back-to-back games from bocce, to darts, to shuffleboard.
It was all part of the 11th annual All Seniors Care Seniors Games. The residents at College Park II spent Feb. 3-7 competing with each other, as well as nationally against all the other All Seniors Care residences across Canada.
Alynn Skalicky, a recreation therapist at College Park II, helps seniors improve their quality of life and reach their goals through recreation. She says the event is competitive, but also fun and social.
"The reaction has been really fun — really good vibes all around," Skalicky said. "So many residents are coming out to not only participate, but cheer on their neighbours and other athletes even if they don't want to play."
"It really brings that sense of community a little closer."
Fred Wagman, who has lived at College Park II with his wife for four years, competed in the games all five days and won two medals, a silver and a gold.
"Competing in the Seniors Games is just a must when you live in a place like College Park II," said Wagman, who is 83 years old.
Wagman said he enjoyed every moment of the competition, from the open ceremonies to the closing ceremonies.
"Every event is fun because either you are playing in it or some of your neighbours are playing in it and you become part of the cheering section."
Skalicky said seniors at the residence have a wide range of abilities. The residents range in age from 62 to 104. Some are mobile, some have walkers and others are in wheelchairs.
"We're trying to adapt the games for everybody who wants to play ... and we always want to encourage them that no matter what stage you're at, you can play these games," Skalicky said. "We just maybe need to try some different ways to do it."
Skalicky said there are physical benefits that come with the games due to the exercise, but there are also a strong social, emotional and cognitive components to the event. For example, residents competed in card and trivia games on Friday.
"All of the friends coming out and meeting each other — Maybe they haven't met before," she said. "Maybe they're coming to support one another to have just an overall fun time together. I think that is one of the most important things of the games."
With files from The Morning Edition