The 55+ BC Games took place from Sept. 13 to 17 in Victoria this year, and quite a few seniors from the East Kootenay region came home with hardware.
Zone 7, East Kootenay, won a total of 26 medals in this year’s games: four gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze. Medals were won in track and field, swimming, tennis, cribbage, archery and golf.
Betty Nelson and her partner Sue Duckworth were two such ladies, bringing home a gold and silver in Cribbage.
“We had so much fun, it was a hoot. Everyone was so friendly,” Nelson said after returning from Victoria. “We were divided into three flights, and we won gold for Flight A. After a round robin, Sue and I got bronze after getting skunked in the last game.”
Zone 7 encompasses Cranbrook, Crawfod Bay, Creston, Elkford, Fairmont, Fernie, Field, Golden, Invermere, Kimberley, Radium, Riondel, Sparwood, Wycliffe and Yahk.
Nelson explained that in Cranbrook, the teams meet on a monthly basis, and anyone aged 55 or older is welcome to join.
Although the Zone 7 women’s hockey team didn’t receive a medal, they did come in fourth against some of the toughest teams in the province.
Cranbrook’s Irene Bischler is a forward on the women’s Zone 7 hockey team, the Ice Agers, and has played with the team for 15 years. She taught skating prior to discovering her love for hockey. She said her and the Ice Agers played well and had a great time.
“The competition was absolutely amazing, it was so much fun,” Bischler said. “And we were up against some fierce competition. On our team, for example, if you’re 55 or older and can skate, you’re in. But most of the teams we were playing against have actual tryouts. We don’t have that luxury, having so few players. We did amazing when you look at the competition.”
The team is made up of a combination of new and experienced players.
“We’re just good friends who have a lot of fun,” Bischler said.
She says one of the biggest highlights was how their goalie kept them in the games.
“Our goalie Jean Terpsma was amazing. She stood on her head, she really kept us in the game, she just did amazing between the pipes,” Bischler said.
She adds that in their first game, they won 1-0 against the Coast Classics, starting them off on the right foot.
During their second game they played a Kelowna team and tied 3-3. They lost the next game, 4-2, against the Red Tide from Victoria.
“We played a few hard-fought games and really put up a good front, especially our goalie. That loss put us in the bronze medal game, which we lost 3-0 against the Wolf Pack from the Lower Mainland,” Bischler said.
Anyone looking to get involved can reach out to teammates or email firstname.lastname@example.org.