More than 350 people are expected to take part in this year’s edition of the Ontario Senior Games during the next two months.
Don Hector, Chatham-Kent games co-ordinator said there are more than 30 events taking place with varying levels of physical activity.
“We have everything from cards, to shuffleboard, to golf to running,” he said. “Pretty well everyone is capable of participating in at least one of the events.”
The entry level for the games is 55 and, depending on the physical activity involved, some of the events are tiered according to age.
“Sports such as running and tennis, among others, are grouped in age brackets for those 55, 65 or 75,” he said. “We want it to be competitive but fair.”
Hector said many of the events are certified as qualifiers for the Ontario senior championships that will be held in August this year in Midland.
“We’ve had a number of provincial champions over the years,” he said. “You can be as competitive as you want to be.”
Hector said the physical activity and interaction with others have proven benefits for older adults.
“Studies have shown that people who retire and don’t find some activity to take the place of work are generally not as healthy as those who take up different pursuits,” he said. “Keeping active, having goals and interacting with other people are key factors in maintaining both mental and physical health.”
Of particular interest is a relatively new series of events called the Prediction Sports. Walking, running, urban poling and swimming events allow competitors to compete on their own pace.
Competitors predict the time it will take them to complete their activity and the competitor who is the closest to their predicted time is the winner.
Hector said part of the games mandate is that activities take place right across the municipality.
“We have events all the way from Wheatley to Wallaceburg,” he said. “We get tremendous support from the community.
For a full list of events visit http://www.ckseniorgames.com or call Hector at 226-881-2453.