The 2006 MSOS 55 Plus Games
|Every year the Manitoba Society of Seniors(MSOS) hosts the annual 55 Plus Games in a different community in Manitoba. This year the 24th annual MSOS 55 Plus Games ended up “Setting Sail in Gimli” on June 13 and continued until June 15. This year the event attracted 1463 athletes, 200 volunteers, 500 spectators and beautiful weather for all 3 days. |
The Games are the largest annual multi-sport event in Manitoba, breaking down the stereotype that seniors can’t stay active well into their 60s, 70s and 80s. In fact, the oldest male athlete is 93 while the oldest female athlete is 92. Both participate in floor curling and enjoy the game immensely.
|As always, slo-pitch draws the largest number of participants with 500 athletes and 32 teams. Between 9 and 18 hole golf, about 200 participants take to the links, while approximately 150 bowlers take to the lanes over the 3 day event, competing in both singles (new just this year) and team events.Card events also are a major draw, testing the mental ability of many seniors. Whist, cribbage and contract bridge each attract about 100 participants while duplicate bridge sees about 60 participants compete.|
Lawn bowling made a comeback this year and while the numbers were low at the event, spirits were high and everyone had an enjoyable time for the day. Other outdoor events include the 3KM predicted walk, horseshoes and tennis.
Other indoor events included floor curling, floor shuffleboard, carpet bowling, scrabble and arts and crafts. Events were mainly held at the Gimli Recreation Centre and the Gimli New Horizons 55+ Centre (and surrounding area), but other venues included the Loni Beach Tennis Courts, Gimli Bowling Centre and the beautiful Links at the Lake golf course.
The Games are also about providing a social and cultural atmosphere and this is accomplished through the host community holding a Variety Concert on the Tuesday night and Athlete’s banquet on Wednesday night. The athlete’s banquet includes dinner, dance and speeches by local dignitaries. Past years have even seen the Lieutenant Governors Peter Liba and John Harvard enjoy the opening ceremonies and/or athlete’s banquet.
|Although MSOS stages the 55 Plus Games, the Games are open to any Manitoban over the age of 55. However, being a member of MSOS allows you to receive information pertaining to the Games in the monthly journal mailed out to all members. Some events require qualifying playoffs in different regions in the province and city, while other events such as swimming, track, lawn bowling and tennis do not require any playoffs. For these events all you have to do is get a hold of a registration form and send it along with your entry fee.|
|Next year MSOS is proud to be hosting the 55 Plus Games in Winnipeg. Help them celebrate 25 years of the spirit of the Games by attending the Games as a participant or checking out the action as a spectator.|
If you are interested in learning more about this exciting multi-sport event in 2007 please check out the MSOS website at www.msos.mb.ca as we will begin adding new information about the 2007 Games in the fall.