Ashcroft brought home the gold this September when a number of locals participated in—and placed—at the 2019 55+ BC Games in Kelowna.
From September 10 to 14, thousands of participants and their supporters came together for the games, which became the largest sporting event ever held in Kelowna this year.
This year’s 30-sport event was also the biggest games held in the over 40-year history of the seniors’ competition.
Maria Martin is the zone and sport-coordinator for Ashcroft and Cache Creek 55+ athletes. She has been attending the annual 55+ BC Games for a number of years. This year, she was pleased to see 16 local participants compete from Ashcroft and Cache-Creek.
“It was very nice to see that [many participants],” said Martin. “I thought we did a good showing. There were 4,300 people there. That is amazing.”
Last year, Women’s Hockey became a 55+ sport in the games and Martin said that the community has sent two women to compete since.
“Last year was the first year that they included ladies hockey in the senior games,” said Martin, explaining that the two women from Ashcroft who did compete were “cross-zoned.” The phrase refers to individual players who are picked up to form a team together.
Martin recalled that the first goal ever scored in the 55+ Games Women’s Hockey event was actually orchestrated by Ashcroft’s female hockey players.
“One of the guiding rules is that they don’t want to say no to people who are interested in going,” said Martin of the games’ organizers. “They’ll do everything they can to get you in there.”
As for hardware, Ashcroft hauled home plenty to be proud of.
Kevin Scallon won a gold medal in the Men’s Singles Horseshoes event for 65+ while Muriel Scallon won a bronze in the Women’s Singles Horsehoe event.
John Farmer won a gold medal with his Men’s 80+ Doubles team in tennis and won silver with his 80+ Men and Women’s Mixed Doubles tennis partner from Nanaimo.
Ashcroft residents Barb and Dwight Hodder also took home gold medals in Men and Women’s 55+ Sturling (a variation of curling but with teams of two), while Janet and Paul Quesnel took home the bronze in that event.
The team of Harvie and Ratcliffe won bronze in Men and Women’s 55+ Dart doubles.
Ashcroft participants competed as part of Zone 8 (South Central) and placed fifth in overall rankings out of thirteen zones.
Maria said that there were over 400 participants in Zone 8, which encompasses Ashcroft, Cache-Creek, Barrier, Little Fort, Chase, Clearwater, Lilloet, Logan Lake, Merritt, Lytton, Valmont, Kamloops, and more.