The Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow in 2014 has created a lasting legacy of sporting competition for Erskine’s veterans as the charity host their Sporting Senior Games this September for the fifth year running.
Five teams from Erskine’s four Care Homes will compete against a team of veterans from Erskine’s Reid Macewen Activity Centre and four external teams. Care home competitors will be welcomed from Heathfield House, Ayrshire; Summerlea House, Coatbridge; Ailsa Lodge, Bishopton and West Lothian Activities Network.
The event is being held on 30th September at Park Mains High School, Erskine in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) with students volunteering on the day. Competitors have been feverishly practising the sports of basketball; boccia bowls; javelin; penalty shoot-out; kurling and cycling (on static bikes).
Winning teams will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals with the overall winners lifting the John Bowman Trophy – named after an inspirational Erskine veteran who loved competing at the Games.
The Games will also include a team procession, complete with piper, and the handing over of the torch from the Geri Olympics in Virginia, USA. In 2014 a team from America attended to compete and since then there has been a close connection with Ted Muilenburg, Director of the Institute for Geri Olympics. Ted has sent his best wishes for the day saying: “These games add so much to the lives of care home residents.”
Erskine’s Head Physiotherapist Janet Leith said: “The promotion of exercise and physical activity continues to be our priority at Erskine as it contributes so much to the health and quality of life of our veteran’s aged 40 to 103 years old. ‘Making every moment count’ really matters.”
Last year a team from Erskine Park Home took home the top prize winning the John Bowman Trophy. Carol McPhail, Activities Coordinator at Erskine Park Home said: “It was a fantastic achievement for our veterans to win the John Bowman Trophy last year. Every resident in Erskine Park Home is living with dementia so being the winning team was really special. The veterans are very much up for retaining the trophy and have been enjoying training for the big day.”
Dawn Skelton, Professor of Ageing and Health at GCU said: “It is wonderful to move into the fourth year of the Sporting Senior Games and see the legacy of the first one held at GCU continue. Over 40 of our health students have volunteered for this event and it highlights that you are never too old and that active ageing makes all the difference to peoples’ lives.”