Area athletes prepare for B.C. Seniors Games

Two dozen athletes from the area get ready for the Seniors Games in Kamloops.

Maria Russell Martin and John Farmer are competing in their third Seniors Games.

Maria Russell Martin and John Farmer are competing in their third Seniors Games.

When the BC Seniors’ Games kick off in Kamloops this week, our area will be well represented. Almost two dozen competitors from Clinton, Cache Creek, Ashcroft, Lytton, and Savona will be taking part in the Games, in disciplines ranging from archery to track and field.

“It’s a great chance to play with other people, which is wonderful when you’re from a small town,” said Maria Russell Martin of Ashcroft, who is taking part in mixed doubles tennis. “I love the game, so any chance I get to play, I take it. And I’ll get to watch some some fine tennis. It’s so much fun to see such a high level of skill.”

This is the third time she has competed at the Games, and she finds the event a treat. “Everyone is out there giving it their all,” she said.

Frank Mierau, also of Ashcroft, is taking part in his first Games. “I’ve always wanted to do it,” he said, “and this was my chance, with the Games only being an hour away this year. I’m taking the plunge. I couldn’t resist it.”

The 82-year-old athlete will be competing in three cycling events: a 14km time trial, a 42km long distance race, and a 2.7km hill climb. He is taking the events seriously, even travelling out to Dallas to look at the 7km route for the time trial and long distance races, then staking out a similar route closer to home to practice on.

“It was a challenge finding somewhere,” he said with a laugh. “The road is pretty rough out here, and it’s hard to find somewhere flat.” He eventually staked out a 7km section of Hwy. 1 starting just south of Ashcroft Manor.

“I’m looking forward to the Games. I don’t know what to expect, but I’ll soon find out.”

Lytton’s Bernie Fandrich is also taking part in his first Games, in archery. “I just decided to give it a try because I enjoy shooting my bow and I enjoy competition. Since I’ve never competed in the Games before I’m keen to discover how well other old farts are shooting their bows.”

There are four athletes from Lytton taking part this year. “We met yesterday and decided we didn’t need a Lytton cheer . . . but we had an enthusiastic ‘good luck’ huddle,” said Fandrich.

The first Seniors Games was held in Vernon in 1988, with 600 people competing. Since then the event has grown every year, and Kamloops will see close to 4,000 athletes competing in twenty-five events. The Games are open to anyone aged 55 or older, with many of the sports allowing competition in different age categories.

This year’s Seniors Games begins on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and runs through Saturday the 24th, with competition starting every day at 8:00 am. The opening ceremony is Wednesday at 7:00 pm at the Tournament Capital Centre, with the closing ceremony in the same venue on Saturday at 3:30 pm.

Spectators are encouraged to come along and cheer on the athletes from all over the province. The full schedule of events, times, and venues can be found at

Here are the area residents competing in this year’s Games:

Clinton: Floyd Haller, Slo Pitch

Cache Creek: Linda Holland, Equestrian; Gordon Daily, Darlene Daily, Golf

Ashcroft: Myron Erickson, Lorraine Shawaluk, Cribbage; Frank Mierau, Cycling; Arlene Lebedoff, Darts; David Ogilvie, Golf; Nick Lebedoff, Muriel Scallon, Horseshoes; Ina Gory, Andrea Walker, Bruce Walker, Colin Williams, Curling; Mike Baldwin, Slo Pitch; John Farmer, Maria Russell Martin, Tennis

Lytton: Bernie Fandrich, Archery; Robert Bolan, Badminton; Judith Urquhart, Golf; Nonie McCann, Track and Field

Savona: Aileen Lamberton, Darts

Barbara Roden

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual Internet speeds in BC communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Feds deny B.C.’s Discovery Island fish farm application to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied as farms phased out

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Most Read