Veterans in all four Erskine care homes are eagerly awaiting the 1st of October when they will take part in the Sporting Senior Games...

Veterans in all four Erskine care homes are eagerly awaiting the 1st of October when they will take part in the Sporting Senior Games 2017.

Taking place on Older People’s Day and UN International Day of Older Persons, residents will compete in the sports of basketball; boccia bowls; javelin; penalty shoot-out, kurling and cycling (on static bikes).

Teams from Erskine Park; The Erskine Home; Erskine Glasgow and Erskine Edinburgh have been feverishly practising for weeks in anticipation of the pleasurable day of competition. A team from Heathfield Nursing Care Home in Ayrshire will also compete.

Taking place at Park Mains High School in Erskine, the event is being held in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), with the majority of volunteers on the day being students from the University.

The aim of the Games is to encourage being active whatever your age, and doing your best whatever your ability, so it is fitting the event takes place on Older People’s Day which celebrates the achievements and contributions that older people make to society. Everyone taking part is a winner with many competitors being in their 80’s or 90’s and many living with dementia.

The overall winning team will be awarded the John Bowman Trophy which is named after an inspirational Erskine resident who passed away last year aged 99. John was a keen cyclist when he was younger and loved competing in sports at Erskine, especially on the static bike. John was also a member of the Clydebank Male Voice Choir for many years and poignantly the Choir will attend the Games to perform.

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to all other winning teams with every competitor receiving a rosette for their efforts.

Erskine’s Head Physiotherapist Janet Leith said: “Following our fantastic Centenary Games in 2016, Erskine is collaborating once again with GCU to host our now annual sporting competition. We are looking forward to a day of intense competition and great fun with our resident athletes taking centre stage.”

“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 veterans.

“The winning team will be presented with the John Bowman Trophy by his son Ian which will be a lovely moment for everyone,” said Janet.

Erskine resident, Margaret Horsfield, age 88 who cannot wait to take part on the day said: “I never tried any sports like this before I came to Erskine. I did swim and dance, but I didn’t run as I couldn’t! But trying these sports means we are not done yet!”

Dawn Skelton, Professor of Ageing and Health at GCU will welcome everyone to the Games making the opening speech. Dawn said: “This is a wonderful event to showcase active ageing to our physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing students. They often expect to go on to work with those who are frail and unwell and this event shows that the diversity of ageing means that even with significant mobility problems, older people can have fun and engage with activities at any age.”