The Royal Patron of Veterans’ charity Erskine, HRH, The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, sent a message of support to care home residents taking part in this year’s Sporting Senior Games, a joint collaboration between Erskine and Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).
The D-Day landing themed Games took place today (Saturday 21 September) and was opened by Para Veteran Scott Meenagh. Erskine teams were joined by competitors from Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, West Lothian and Bishopton, in the GCU Arc building for a day of sporting competition like no other.
Eleven teams of six took part in the sports of ten pin bowling; boccia bowls; javelin; golf; kurling and cycling on static bikes, supported by a team of over 40 GCU student volunteers.
Erskine Glasgow D-Day Veteran, Robert Johnston age 96 said: “It’s great to be competing in the Games. I am really excited to be playing my favourite sport of boccia bowls.”
As well as being buoyed up by Royal support, further inspiration came from Veteran Scott who as Captain of the multiple medal winning British Army team of the inaugural Invictus Games, is well versed in the determination needed to win.
This is the Games fifth year, and many hours have been devoted to practising the sports for which individual Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded. However in the true spirit of sporting camaraderie no one went home empty-handed with rosettes being awarded to every competitor.
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The overall team winners received the ultimate accolade – the John Bowman Trophy - named after the inspirational Erskine Veteran who loved competing at the Games. In a touching tribute John’s son was in attendance to hand over the trophy in his Father’s memory.
Erskine’s Head Physiotherapist Janet Leith said: “Erskine’s programme for promoting physical activity for all our residents culminates in the 2019 Sporting Senior Games. We began the year with an innovative dance programme in collaboration with Scottish Ballet, followed by Functional Fitness MOT roadshows which encouraged residents and staff to increase their physical activity. Both programmes paved the way for our intensive training leading up to the Games.
"The Games help us to encourage all our Care Home residents to ‘Make Every Movement Count’. We are looking forward to a fantastic, fun day of sporting activity, friendship and smiles.”
Glasgow Caledonian University’s Dawn Skelton, Professor of Ageing and Health said: “These types of events allow care home residents to take part in fun games competition but with the ultimate aim of increasing their physical activity to improve physical function, health and quality of life.
“Our research within the Ageing Well Research Group at the University confirms the benefits of sitting less and moving more. Each year more than 40 healthcare students from the University get to see older people enjoying physical activity rather than just seeing exercise as a rehabilitation tool – vital to open their minds to what older people can achieve, even when they are frailer.”
The Sporting Senior Games were originally inspired by the Prime Games, run by Glasgow Caledonian University in 2012, their collaboration with the Geri-Olympics in West Virginia, USA, and Erskine’s own Lottery Award Winning * Commonwealth Games in 2014.
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