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.

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

Cache Creek council votes to rejoin local transit system

Details need to be worked out, but hopes are that change can be expedited

Ashcroft residents get information at Community Forum

Water treatment plant, recycling, an Eco-Depot, the budget, and more among items addressed

Elizabeth May’s wedding will be a ‘low-carbon affair’ in Victoria on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

It was no Kentucky Derby: B.C. girls host foot-long snail race

Two Grade 3 students in White Rock put four snails to the test in a hotly-contested street race

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

B.C. RCMP arrest foreign national in connection to airport thefts

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Most Read