Sport keeping Saskatoon seniors active and social

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WATCH ABOVE: A group of Saskatoon seniors have found a way to maintain an active and social lifestyle through a somewhat quirky sport: carpet bowling – Jan 17, 2019

For the last 15 years, Olive Epp has been enjoying her weekly carpet bowl with friends at the Nutana Legion in Saskatoon.

“I like the company,” she said. ” I’m not very competitive and we’re not very competitive here, but we have a great time coffee breaking and laughing at each other at with each other.”

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Olive Epp carpet bowling at Nutana Legion. Nicole Stillger / Global News

Hosted by the Nutana Senior Citizens Association, carpet bowling involves a combination of bowling and curling with four people on each team.

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“We throw the balls to a circle and the closest one to a circle scores,” Epp explained.

Carpet bowling is described as a combination of curling and bowling. Nicole Stillger / Global News
Carpet bowling is described as a combination of curling and bowling. Nicole Stillger / Global News

For this group, it’s not so much about the score as it is staying active and being social.

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“Talking about our little problems and big problems and our trips and families.”

“We have a wonderful group here,” Irene Kelsey said. “We have a lot of [of people] that are in their 90s.”
Irene Kelsey joined the carpet bowling group about three years ago. Nicole Stillger / Global News

A former curler and bowler, Kelsey joined about three years ago. She agrees it’s great being active, but the social aspect is the most rewarding.

“In the winter especially it gets you out of the house and you make new friends and you meet new people,” Kelsey said.

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During the games however, there can be plenty of hustle.

“Sometimes I think ‘Oh it really doesn’t do anything for exercise,’ but when I’m done, I’m tired,” Epp laughed.

It’s also not uncommon for emotions to flare.

“When we make a good shot we are quite loud and when we make a bad shot we’re like the curlers – we sometimes express our dismay,” Kelsey said jokingly.

As for the group, they’re always looking to add to their little community – promising good company and, of course, friendly competition.

“If they don’t necessarily want to bowl, they can play cards,” Epp added. “It’s about companionship.”

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