By Franco Sartor
This year, Vernon and Area, will be hosting the 30th annual BC 55+ games. If you are 55 or older you are welcome to join in the fun and excitement of competing for medals. After an absence of two years, bocce has returned as one of the sports in 2017, and with any luck, I may have the opportunity to compete against other bocce enthusiasts in the hopes of winning one of those medals, but it is not just about winning. The games are an opportunity to meet new people and renew old friendships.
Bocce is just one of the 29 sports that will be available for you to play. The province of British Columbia, is divided into 12 zones for the purpose of the 55 plus games. Depending in what zone you reside in you will have to contact your zone representative to determine if they are entering a team and when they will be hosting their zone play-downs. A complete list of the sports and the contact persons are available at the website http://www.55plusbcgames.org The zone coordinators for the sport of bocce are: Zone 1 Al Orton, Zone 2 Franco Sartor, Zone 3 Lino Bragagnolo, Zone 4 Tito Smania, Zone 5 Celeste Bazzana, Zone 6 Mac Gregory, Zone 8 Mario Salituro, Zone 10 Greg&Holly Cowman, Zone 11 David Mould.
The 55 plus games are indeed more than just Bocce. There is also, Archery, Badminton, Bridge, Carpet Bowling, Bridge, Crib, Cycling, Darts, Dragon Boating, Equestrian, Golf, Curling, Horseshoes, Hockey, Pickle-ball, Slow Pitch, Soccer, Squash, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, and Whist. The 55 Plus games are open to anyone that is 55 or older. If you have a favourite sport or activity that you enjoy, you are invited to register to compete in the zone play-downs, and if you qualify, you then make your plans to join the over 3,500 men and women that get off the couch and get involved. I will be participating in the play-downs, (which will be held in May in Campbell River, for our zone.) Every zone has a different qualification date, so contact the coordinator in your area for more details. The games are supported by the BC Government and many local businesses and sponsors. The most costly part of the games is the travel and accommodations that the participants are required to pay themselves, but the rewards of the games are far more important than just a few dollars. Those that become involved get some exercise, feel needed and more inspired. Not all the sports exercise the body, some events require the participant to use their skills, to exercise their minds, when playing crib, whist or bridge. Another reason to join us in Vernon and area this year is just to see how beautiful this part of the province really is. If you have not been in the Vernon, Coldstream, Enderby, and Armstrong area, it is beautiful! With wineries, and distilleries and a casino and lots of shopping, it is no wonder that the folks that are sponsoring this years games are anticipating a record attendance from all parts of the province. Many participants return every year to renew old friendships, make new friends, and above all have a wonderful time. Why don’t you consider joining us?
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