The Cochrane area seniors participating in the Canada 55 Plus Summer Games have been back a few weeks, and now it's back to the drawing board to organize more events to promote lifelong fitness.
Doug Campbell, area director and past president for the Zone 2 Big Country Seniors Sports Society, says they are sitting down this week to fine-tune the next Alberta 55 Plus Summer Games. They're also determining where to hold their winter games.
"This week, I'm deciding how to proceed with the next round of games," says Campbell. "The summer games in 2023 have been awarded to Brooks, so that's not too far away for our people to go there. We'll have in the range of 16 summer events."
Zone 2 is extremely large. It stretches from Lake Louise and Sundre in the northwest to Olds and Three Hills in the north. The Saskatchewan border is to the east, and High River and Longview are on its southern border. Calgary has a stand-alone zone.
Its size is being taken into consideration in how to organize the winter games.
"What we're working on right now is finding a venue for winter events. Rather than everybody going to one location, we're thinking about spreading the sports, so the provincial playoffs in curling, for example, might be in Cochrane, and pickleball and badminton might be in Okotoks. We're assessing facilities and determining what kind of capacity they have, and, of course, for all of these ideas, we need volunteers."
Since 1980, Alberta 55 Plus Sports has been promoting sports and recreation activities for older Albertans and by doing so, it focuses on the mental and physical wellness of older people.
It's especially important coming out of the isolation prescribed by the pandemic.
"This is physical interaction, it's physical activity, but it's every bit as much a social and emotional reconnecting with people. Everybody that does play really enjoys it, whether you get a medal or not is a side point. We just want people more active and more involved, and having fun."
Fifty-four people, ages 55 to 88, from the Big Country zone participated in the Canada 55 Plus Summer Games, hosted by Kamloops, B.C. from Aug. 22 to 27. A total of 440 athletes forming Team Alberta were among the 2,700 Canadians there from the northern territories, all the way to Newfoundland & Labrador.
“We all battled 30 to 36-degree heat, but loved every minute of the competition, the sights, and the socialization”, says Campbell.
Zone 2 sent golfers, bowlers, lawn bowlers, cyclists, swimmers, track and field, curling, and women’s hockey teams. They returned with 65 medals.
There were 28 Rocky View County seniors, including athletes from Cochrane, Bearspaw, Airdrie, Chestermere, Springbank, and Bragg Creek.
Cochrane participants included Dawn Baker, Laurie-Ann Baker, Sharon Barnden, Douglas Campbell, Nancy Chudleigh, Lynda Cooke, Wendy Davis, Myrna Fink, Karl & Nancy Gibbie, Gary Hawkes, Laurie MacKenzie, Monique MacKenzie, Rick Makowichuk, and Herb Smith. Clint Docken from Bragg Creek and Lynda Gross and Bob Jennings, from Bearspaw, also participated.
To learn more about how you can become involved with Alberta 55 Plus Sports, click here.
You can also email Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.