ANTIGONISH: The 55+ Games is a two-day event that promotes mental and physical well-being through socialization and the option of participation in a variety of physical and relaxed activities.
The idea to hold a games event in Antigonish that is geared specifically towards older adults was first brought to the table in June 2009 at an Antigonish and Guysborough Seniors’ Council meeting.
Soon after, a group of five had its first meeting and, by July, what is currently known as the Seniors Getting Involved Association (SGIA) was formed. Since then, the SGIA has worked hard to grow and improve the games each year and is currently planning its eighth annual 55+ Games with a committee of over 20 members.
With the help of representatives from Antigonish Town and County Recreation departments, committee members work hard throughout the year to ensure that participants will enjoy an inclusive event that holds something for everyone.
This year, the games will include two full days of activities on Friday, June 9, around Antigonish and Saturday, June 10 in St. Andrew’s.
There will be a lunch on Saturday as well as a hospitality room open for participants to relax, enjoy refreshments and make use of provided reading material, puzzles and board games. The event will be wrapped up with a banquet-style dinner followed by dancing and entertainment featuring the Rennie Brothers and One Stop Entertainment.
Activities this year will include the following: an 8-ball pool tournament, bowling, card games, darts, walking and running competitions, indoor and outdoor shuffleboard, floor curling, pickle ball, washer toss, bean bag toss, “Newfie Toss,” and bocce ball. Participants receive medals for first, second and third place in all activities. Participants registering individually are eligible to sign up for the partner and team events; they will be paired up if possible by the event coordinator.
Living an active lifestyle is very important for the health of people all ages. According to the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors staying physically active, exercising regularly and participating in leisure activities can help prevent or delay many diseases and disabilities. Despite these benefits, only 30 percent of Nova Scotia seniors are moderately active (15-30+ minutes a day). The games work to promote active living and provide an opportunity to start to combat this statistic.
The 2017 games registration deadline for the Antigonish 55+ Games is approaching fast, so make sure to get your form in soon! The early bird deadline is Friday, May 26, and the final registration deadline is Friday, June 2. If you or someone you know have any questions or you wish to get involved as a participant, future committee member or volunteer, please contact the 55+ Games Coordinator, Jenny Bowie, at 902-968-0055 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can pick up a registration form from both Town and County Recreation Departments, your local seniors club or online on the Town of Antigonish website under recreational programs.
For participants who enjoy the games and are looking for more chances to participate there are also provincial and national 55+ games. These games take place every second year. The 2017 Nova Scotia 55+ Games will be taking place in Lunenburg County – another great opportunity to get active! To learn more about the games you can visit www.novascotia55plusgames.com.