Team Yukon wins first medal at Canada 55+ Games
On Wednesday evening, Donna Jones won a silver medal for running the 10-kilometre race in the 55 - 64 age category.
READY TO RUN – Runners from Team Yukon in the 10-km race (left to right) Roger Hanberg, Dave Kalles, Donna Jones, Bryan Craven and Brenda Dion. Photo courtesy of TEAM YUKON
SYDNEY, Nova Scotia – On Wednesday evening, Donna Jones won a silver medal for running the 10-kilometre race in the 55 - 64 age category.
The Yukon’s ElderActive Recreation Association (ERA) has taken Team Yukon consisting of 89 seniors to Sydney, Nova Scotia for the Canada 55+ Games.
The teams boasts members from Whitehorse,Watson Lake, Marsh Lake and Tagish are competing in athletic and recreational events.
The competitors range from 55 years to 87 years young.
Yukoners joining Jones in the 10-km race were Brenda Dion, Bryan Craven, Dave Kalles, and Roger Hanberg.
Nearly 20 Yukoners cheered on the runners bursting into their team theme song as the runners left the start line.
“The support from Team Yukon was amazing,” says Jones. “It made a real difference. One supporter said my hot pink running outfit reminded her of fireweed.”
Jones completed the course in 51 minutes.
The route started just outside the 18th century national historic site of Fort Louisbourg.
“The race was a mystical experience,” said Jones.
“Running along the sea, entering the Fort to the beat of a lone drummer standing on the stone walls silhouetted against the silver sunset transported me back to another era but it didn’t take my focus off the race.”
Other sports on Wednesday included curling with the men’s team winning against Quebec 15-3.
The women curlers graciously acceded their first draw 10-2 to their Nova Scotian hosts.
The slo-pitch team took to the field Wednesday playing Ontario (Etobicoke) in a competitive game.
They held their own except for one inning, which tipped the score to 15-5 in favour of team Ontario.
Team pitcher Gary Burgess says “as long as we actually catch the ball, we’ll do well in the rest of our games.”
Team Yukon is very visible at every venue sporting Yukon gold shirts and proudly waving territorial flags.
Every team member is sharing Yukon pins and ERA pins with the team mascot Prospector Pete.
“I feel like a walking tourism promotion,” laughed one competitor.
“They certainly know we’re here.”
Competition continues today in bocce, bowling, cribbage, curling, cycling, darts, golf, horseshoes, shuffleboard, swimming and track and field.
ERA’s mandate is to keep Yukon seniors active in body, mind and spirit.
The organization has nearly 400 members throughout the Yukon participating in sports and recreational events year round.
ERA forms Team Yukon to participate in the Canada 55 + Games every two years.
As of press-time today, Team Yukon had collected 13 additional medals:
Gail Miller-Craigen; Women’s 10-km cycle: GOLD
Paul Dabbs; Men’s 10-km cycle: GOLD
George Dimsdale: Men’s 10-km cycle: BRONZE
Dave Kalles: Men’s 1,500-m run: SILVER
Darlene Dimsdale: Women’s 1,500-m run: BRONZE
Mike Craigen: Men’s 1,500-m run: BRONZE
Hank Leenders: Men’s 1,500-m run: GOLD
Brenda Dion: Women’s Javelin and 100-m run: GOLD (2)
Judy Lightening: Women’s javelin: BRONZE, Women’s 100-m run: GOLD
Pamela Bangart: Women’s javelin: BRONZE
Donna Jones: Women’s 1,500-m run: GOLD