It's a sporting contest like no other, with more grey hair than lycra on show - it's the Bay of Plenty's annual Rest Home Games.

"The theme this year is the Commonwealth Games," said Michelle Barns from Sport Bay of Plenty.

"We have teams dressed up in a wide variety of costumes."

More than 150 senior citizens from 14 rest homes around the region turned up to compete.


"We've got a wide variety of events including balloon badminton, where they sit down and play badminton with a balloon instead of a shuttlecock," Barns said.

"We have noodle hockey, a seated activity where they use little pool noodles to whack a ball to either end of the goal."

"We also have tenpin bowling with a soft ball and large foam pins, as well as a bean-bag throw where they throw bags into hoops, some further and some closer away - the further you throw the higher the score."

The event is part of a regional initiative to provide more recreational opportunities for people of all ages.

And while there may not be medals handed out, there's no question it's a crowd pleaser.

"We always hold the event in May," Barns said.

"I get enquiries in October of the previous year about when it will be and what the theme of the event will be.

"There is a lot of hype and much of the teams practice the events prior to the day within their rest homes."


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