Seniors plan Game Bid
An Alberta 55-plus Games Festival, highlighting games of skill, may be on its way to the Valley.
The Big Country Senior Sports Society (BCSSS) is considering putting Drumheller’s name in the hat to host an event this fall.
Linda Traquair, vice president of BCSSS, says a number of changes to the 55-Plus Games organization has made it possible for smaller communities to take a more active role in hosting more events. Rather than summer and winter games, they will have combined events every two years, dubbing these the “active games,” based on physical competition. The zones will host smaller events with some of the games geared more towards skill rather than athletic ability, such as cards.
Later this month there will be a meeting where Traquair said the BCSSS is planning to bid for an event in the fall of 2016. The event, tentatively slated for September 30 to October 2 could attract from 400 to over 500 competitors. They are looking at needing possibly 200 volunteers for the games.
“Zone Two, which Drumheller is a member, thought right away of Drumheller because of our facility,” she said, adding it could be a boost for the economy during this slow period.
“Look at what it could do for hotels and restaurants,” she said.
While Drumheller has never hosted an official event, it has held tournaments and qualifying events in previous years. It had 10 participants attend the 2015 Winter Games in Lethbridge, and 12 participants attend the 2015 Summer games in Strathmore.
One change for the games is that these “festival events”
would now be under a user pay model, meaning that the competitors would be responsible for their own travel, meals and lodging.
“By splitting the game up this way, smaller communities can actually host it,” she said.
A tentative schedule would have registration and possibly opening ceremonies on Thursday, with competition running Friday, Saturday and possibly Sunday. They would host a banquet on the Friday evening.
She said she is talking to Drumheller’s very active pickle ball players with the aim of hosting pickle ball as a demonstration event. She says it could be good for the games.
“It (pickle ball) is a good spectator sport and a good way to bringing the younger 55-plus participants. The card players do tend to be some of the older people. We need to get more of the young seniors involved for the survival of the games,” she said.