Athletes over sixty and going for gold in the games

THE egg and spoon, wheelbarrow and three-legged races are usually confined to the playing fields of a children's sports day.

But pensioners living in a city care home have resurrected fond memories of their schooldays by taking part in their own sporting challenges.

Despite being aged between 60 and 101, the residents of Marionville Court Care Home in Lochend were also set to compete in Space Hopper races, a tug-of-war and tennis matches at their sports day today.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sticking with the school sports days theme, prizes were due to be handed out to the winning "houses" to give the residents even more reason to compete – and to win.

All 60 elderly residents living in the home's six houses were expected to take part in today's events to some extent.

For the frailer of the group, the more sedate sport of bowls was on offer, while others could enjoy the Wimbledon theme by partaking in strawberries and cream rather than running about the tennis court.

Helen Lillie, assistant manager at the council-run home, said: "We wanted to do something that would encourage all the residents and staff to be able to participate and that idea evolved into the sports day.

"Even the residents who are not keen on taking part are able to come along and watch because we want everyone to be involved and take in the atmosphere.

"It's just like a school sports day, with people running for their houses and we've been planning it for months."

Speaking ahead of today's action-packed event, resident Betty Heeps, 71, said she was looking forward to defending the gold medal she won in last year's egg and spoon race.

She added: "I'm really looking forward to winning another gold medal and helping my house win the cup."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This is not the first time the care home has encouraged residents to get involved in fun activities.

In June last year, it organised a tennis competition – using a Nintendo Wii games console – in the run-up to the Wimbledon championships.

And in November last year, residents took part in their very own Marionville's Got Talent contest, complete with appearances from the home's answers to Abba, the Nolan Sisters and the Beach Boys.

Councillor Norman Work, vice-convener of health and social care at the city council, said: "These social activities are a great way of keeping older people active and I've witnessed first hand how much enjoyment the residents get from these types of events."

The sports day, which was due to kick off at 11am, is set to run until 9pm tonight and also features a barbecue, entertainment and a fireworks display.

Related topics: