55+ Games preprations move into high gear

by Gayle Wilson

  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>John MacLean, the co-honorary chair of the 55+ Plus Games, played basketball and softball until age 58, then turned to curling and golf.</p>
  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>Recovering from a stroke in April 2016, John MacLean is mobile now and participating in a number of volunteer activities, including as co-honorary chair of the 55+ Games.</p>
  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>Martha Saunders (right) takes time out at the Elderfit group&#8217;s beach event to present volunteer Ella Rafuse with her instructor certificate.</p>
  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>Martha Saunders (second from the left in front) runs the Elderfit aquacize program at the emOcean Wellness Centre pool in Lunenburg. Saunders is co- honorary chair of the 55+ Games taking place in Lunenburg County next month.</p>

As preparations for the 2017 55 +Games shift into high gear, organizers have extended the registration deadline for the event which is expected to draw approximately 1,000 participants and their families to Lunenburg County September 13 to 16.

Those people who are over 55 years of age and are interested in participating in one or more of the event's 25 sports and activities now have until August 11 to register.

When the games kick off at the Lunenburg Country Lifestyle Centre (LCLC) on September 13, two honorary chairs will be among those leading the opening ceremonies.

Martha Saunders will give the Oath of the Athletes, while John MacLean will lead the prayer.

According to Carroll Randall, who is co-chair of the event along with Robin Scott, Saunders and MacLean were selected in the spring as honorary chairs for having been "instrumental" in support and development of activities for people over 55 years of age.

He described Saunders as a "leader of senior movement" who co-ordinates a contingent of volunteers to run the Elderfit aquatic program.

"She's been the mother of it as long as I've been around," he said.

Randall commented that with his career in recreation training and administration, MacLean has helped "countless numbers" of community organizations organize sports activities across the age spectrum.

"He's given to sport all his entire life."

The theme of the 2017 games is Fun, Fitness and Friendship. The games will include an active Senior/Healthy Senior health fair on the the Thursday, pop-up cafes on Friday and Saturday, an opening ceremony and a closing banquet all including local food and entertainment.

There are three streams of activity, including passive, such as card and board games; semi-active, including pool, darts, horseshoes, bowling, shuffleboard; and active including competitive sports such as track and field, swimming and running

Those who would like to register or have more information can go to: www.2017ns55plusgames.ca or the games' Facebook page.

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