Age just a number to competitive seniors

By Jared Smith,

Step aside, Masters Games, it's time for the seniors of the seniors to show us how it's done.

Summerset Village is hosting its annual Village Games this week, competitions with bowls, balls, pool tables and mobility obstacle courses.

The events kicked off yesterday with the mini putt and petanque for the 35 residents taking part, some of whom are in their 90s.

"The youngest ones are definitely on the wrong side of 50 ... 60 actually," said Allison Campbell, chairwoman of the residents committee.

The exclusive competition has been held for the better part of a decade, or longer, no one seems entirely sure.

"We're too good for other villages, don't want to make them feel bad," said Campbell.

Alan Grey, 70, has collected 16 medals at the Games since he arrived at the village about 2006.

"I've given a lot of them away, I think I've got five left," he said. "I thoroughly enjoy it. My two daughters came down one time and I had them scoring [the Games]. I'm in the scooter rally, although I don't know what it is."

Campbell explained the village's property team will set up a "safe" obstacle course, including ramps, for the competitors to take their machines around.

"It's actually quite fun," she said.

Meanwhile, the quoits event is expected to be keenly contested - the traditional throwing game will be split between two divisions based on mobility.

After 12 years at the village, 89-year-old Margaret Brown was relishing the good weather and excellent turnout.

"It's always been interesting, playing this petanque particularly to me," she said. "I remember winning once. I don't know how the score goes, they told me I won."

The Games continue today with indoor bowls, followed by outdoor bowls tomorrow.

Thursday is the mobility scooter hunt, table tennis and eight ball pool.

Friday will be quoits, followed by "ball in the bucket", before the closing ceremony complete with medal presentations and sausage sizzle.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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