From hockey to cribbage: Thousands flock to Saint John for Canada 55+ Games
An event underway in Saint John is proof that age is just a number.
The port city is hosting the Canada 55+ Games. The biennial event has attracted more than 2,000 participants from all areas of the country, taking part in more than 20 events ranging from ice hockey to cribbage.
Some athletes taking part are into their nineties.
Randy Daley is a 62-year-old native of Bathurst, N.B. who has called Manitoba home for more than 40 years. Competing in the 60 plus men’s ice hockey division, Daley relishes the opportunity to play in front of family and friends and, in a way, return to his youth.
“You sit in those rooms with those guys and it’s just like being kids again, only everybody is a little greyer and taped up a little more than when you were kids,” said Daley.
“It’s the same game just a little slower.”
Precision takes centre stage at the darts competition but once again, a similar theme emerges.
“When you play, you want to compete, you want to win right?” said Ray Babineau of the New Brunswick Darts Team. “At the end of the day it’s all about the fun.”
Putting on an event of this magnitude is a tall task to put it mildly. More than 2,000 people are taking part, and there are about 500 volunteers. The logistical challenges are many.
“We have to set up the venues, we have to make sure there’s enough accommodations , block off hotels, get the transportation in line,” said Games Manager Kevin Babin. “Also making sure that everyone from across the country who can play and who wants to play are properly registered.”
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The economic benefit to the region is estimated to be at least $3 million.
That likely isn’t on the minds of the athletes who are focusing on the overall experience and a good message for everyone to take with them going forward.
“Age is just, it’s relative right?” said Daley. “I mean that’s the fun experience for us.”
The games wrap up Friday.
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