Friendship over bowls
Pirates and Mexicans alike took to the bowling green in a one of a kind tournament at the ASB Stadium.
The tournament was run by the non-profit organisation Communicare who provide care, companionship and support for Auckland’s elderly.
Around 100 people turned out for the event last Friday with some teams getting into the festive spirit with eye patches and sombreros.
Event organiser Eileen Asbury says the tournament runs every second year and is as much about building friendships as competing.
‘‘It’s a real highlight for them mainly because they can come together and practise up in their teams and create a real camaraderie atmosphere.’’
Every other year Communicare hosts a mini Olympics where the elderly compete in various sports including balloon volleyball and velcro darts. The organisation was established in 1959 and now has 23 friendship centres around Auckland where guests can enjoy various crafts and play cards or indoor bowls.
Peter Keys started going to Communicare’s centre in Mt Eden after moving into a rest home following a stroke last November.
He enjoys the 31⁄ hours he spends there each Monday.
‘‘It helps break up the days.’’
He also says he is incredibly grateful to the carers who volunteer their time at the centres.
From under a hat covered in yellow smiley faces, Mr Keys spoke of his friendship with one of the Communicare volunteers who recently lost a close family member.
‘‘I saw her three weeks ago and I said: ‘Thank you so much for looking after me. Do you think I could give you a hug?’
‘‘She said sure, so I did and now we have a hug each time.’’
It is connections like these that have kept Communicare running.
Experienced: Balmoral resident William Burr started bowling when he was 20 years old and has since represented New Zealand at the special olympics.
Game face: Flo Preston from Avondale watches closely as her ball nears the kitty.
Avondale resident Gunpat Valabh looks on confidently from beneath his sombrero. Land lovers: Royal Oak residents Margaret Morey, left, and Lesley Lowe dressed for the occasion at the Communicare bowling tournament.
Changing scenery: Peter Keys of Mt Eden says Communicare events help to break up the days with fun and friendship.