Trekking Tales: At the BC Seniors Games

Aug. 20 - 24 as some 3,800 participants, aged 55 and older, descended on Kamloops for the BC Seniors Games

Our friend Jean and many more dedicated athletes and non-athletes, participate in the BC Senior Games, which has been an annual event since 1988. The location varies each year from north to south and east to west in this fair province. This year, Kamloops was the host, the scene of bustling activity Aug. 20 – 24 as some 3,800 participants, aged 55 and older, descended on the city for activities and sports from “archery to whist.” Several years ago, on learning about this wonderful opportunity, I had told cyclist Jean, “I can swim.” But with my hip deteriorating painfully and healing slowly after miraculous replacement surgery, it has taken all this time for me to experience first hand the fun of being part of the picture.

Training to swim competitively in a place with no pools was a major challenge. I joined friend and fellow Girl Guider Barb of Barriere at only a couple of the team’s weekly hour-long swims with helpful hints and challenges from the lifeguards at the YM/YWCA. When possible, I swam a kilometre or so when we were near a pool. Having actually signed up in April, and been timed for my chosen events, some training had to happen. Of course, this would be the spring for lots of travels, so I walked, hiked, cycled when I could. Happily, Dutch Lake melted and warmed up; even better, friend Sandra with her paddler was willing to accompany me patiently as I slowly stroked from beach or boat launch across the lake.

The date arrived, as they invariably do, for us to meet Barb and husband Carman at the Kamloops Interior Savings Centre to sign in. Done.

“You’ll need a red shirt for the parade during opening ceremonies,” Jean and Barb told me. “Red and yellow are the colours for Zone 8 which takes in Salmon Arm, Merritt, Cache Creek, us, and all points in between.”

Got it, and chatted with Sandra, on duty sporting her maroon Volunteer T-shirt.

For the opening ceremonies, teams wearing their respective colours, and dragon boaters carrying oars, lined up outside the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) at Thompson Rivers University (TRU). As host city, a “river of red” marched in at the end of the line. Speeches and entertainment followed, with Nancy Greene Raine running in with the torch to ignite the flame.

Easy part over, I’m here to swim! Eighteen members constituted Zone 8’s team; many met for the first time and, like me, were participating for the first time. Needless to say, warm bonds were forged over the next three days. Perhaps it was in 1958 that I last swam competitively, but all, first-timers or not, experienced butterflies as their races began. We were placed in heats according to those times submitted much earlier – a comforting arrangement. The oldest competitor was a 93-year-old woman and she swam almost every race I did, and that included 400 and 800 m freestyle. Amazing lady.… Family and friends, including John and Carman, Sandra and Linda (from Kamloops) cheered and encouraged from the bleachers above TRU’s pool. Gold, silver and bronze medals were handed out with great fan-fare to winners in each age group. In each of my five swims, I experienced some small success – that I did not need a medal for! Meantime, Jean was cycling, Carol was riding her horse, others from Clearwater were golfing and more. It really was an amazing affair to take part in.


Special events were arranged for participants including an efficiently-run banquet – literally for thousands, with dancing and more for the fun of it. A closing ceremony followed the completion of all events. “I am so glad you talked me into this, Jean!”



Just Posted

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

The story of Rotary Richard

People have until April 6 to make their guess

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Local contribution to a global issue

Global Climate Strike for Future

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read