News Local

Pembroke to host 2017 Eastern Regional 55+ Summer Games

By Celina Ip

(from left) Convenor Sheila Perras presenting a gold medal to cyclist Val Hinsberger at the 2017 Renfrew County 55+ Games earlier this year. Hinsberger will be among the participants at the cycling competition for this year's Eastern Regional 55+ Summer Games on August 16 in Pembroke.

(from left) Convenor Sheila Perras presenting a gold medal to cyclist Val Hinsberger at the 2017 Renfrew County 55+ Games earlier this year. Hinsberger will be among the participants at the cycling competition for this year's Eastern Regional 55+ Summer Games on August 16 in Pembroke.

RENFREW COUNTY – In less than two weeks, more than 200 seniors will be on their way to Pembroke to compete in the Eastern Regional 55+ Summer Games.

The elite tournament, which takes place in a different district around the region every two years, will see the top senior athletes and card players competing for gold and glory.

Taking place on August 16, this will be the first time in Ontario Senior Games Association (OSGA) history that the Eastern Regional 55+ Summer Games will be hosted by the City of Pembroke.

“It's Renfrew County’s turn to host and Pembroke was chosen as it's fairly central and it has the number of facilities required to host multiple sports and activities,” said William Enright, a member of the Organizing Committee that’s chaired by Irene Churchill.

A total of 220 participants, who will be coming from five different districts that extend from Deep River to as far away as Kingston, will be competing in 13 different activities in a spirit of friendship and camaraderie.

“Participants are coming from our district and four other districts within Eastern Ontario. Every district already hosted their own games this year and the top winners – gold, silver and bronze – of those various events will have progressed onto these regional games taking place in Pembroke,” said Enright.

Competitors will face off in a variety of sports – from cycling and walking to pickleball and lawn bowling – through to card games like euchre and cribbage.

“The whole premise of the games is to keep seniors active with fun and competitive activities,” said Enright.

The competitions will be taking place at 11 different venues that will include Bishop Smith Catholic High School, the Pembroke Legion, the Germania Club, the Seniors Drop-In Centre and Riverside Park among others.

Deep River has also volunteered the use of their facilities for the lawn bowling and five-pin bowling events.

Competitors will range from individuals to pairs or larger teams who will all be vying for the gold medals that will make them eligible to compete in the 2018 Ontario 55+ Summer Games.

“Whoever does well at the regional games will represent our region in Mississauga next year at the Ontario 55+ Summer Games,” said Enright.

Following the games, a celebratory banquet will take place at the Pembroke Memorial Centre, beginning at 5 p.m. Local dignitaries, including Pembroke Mayor Mike LeMay, MPP John Yakabuski and County of Renfrew Warden/Mayor of Bonnechere Valley Township Jennifer Murphy, will be present to deliver congratulatory words.

Enright said that the organizers are very pleased that the regional event is being held in Pembroke this year and that it’s received tremendous support from many sponsors, particularly the City of Pembroke.

“We're delighted that the City of Pembroke is fully behind us in the organizing of this major event,” he said. “We know that the participants and everyone involved will have fun in our friendly corner of the Ottawa Valley.”

For more information about the 55+ Summer Games, visit http://www.osga55plus.ca/regions or contact Irene Churchill at 613-628-1272 or at gichurch@nrtco.net

cip@postmedia.com