By Irene Butler –
Published in Impowerage e-zine –
The city of Richmond will pulsate with grey power from September 16-19th. Thirty-eight hundred 55+ aged participants have registered, making it the largest sports event the city of Richmond has hosted and the largest BC Seniors Games since they began in 1988. The Games will be supported by thousands of event volunteers and community groups working together.
There is no entry fee for spectators coming out to see the games, which will include 29 sports, such as: soccer, track & field, ice-skating, horseshoes, cribbage, golf, pickleball….pickleball? Never having heard of this sport, I had Nettie & Ralph Jonker, Co-Chairs for this event, bring me up to speed. The odd name was coined from a natural ball chaser Pickles, the dog of one of three Seattle area men who created the game. “It is a cross between ping pong, tennis, and badminton, and is played on a badminton court,” said Nettie, “using hard paddles and a perforated plastic ball”.
Joanne Francis, Communications Chair mentioned floor curling and carpet bowling as sports that are rapidly gaining popularity and will be represented at the Games. Square Dance Chair, Helge Jacobsen reported for the first time this year Square Dancing will be in the competition category of the Senior Games, but the doe-see-doe-ers will also continue with their non-competitive demonstrations as in previous Games.
A sampling of prowess to watch for is Gwen McFarlan (Richmond), who this May at age 75 broke the world record for the Women’s 75-79 category in the 42.2km Vancouver marathon, clocking in at 3hrs/57min/30 sec. Rick Whiting (who has won numerous marathons himself) is now at age 71 her “junior” coach. He says, “Gwen started running in her 50?s and is running better now than 10 years ago.” Gwen will be in the Richmond Games 1500m, 5000m and 10km Road Race.
Read on…. Impowerage