Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Morris Prokop

ADDRESSING THE GATHERING – Chris Teiman, sport consultant from the Sport and Recreation Branch and a member of the Team Yukon 2024 Mission Team, speaks to a packed room at Mount McIntyre on Nov. 9.

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Photo by Morris Prokop

TRAVEL PLANS – Co-chef de mission and travel lead Stella Martin speaks to the crowd.

Team Yukon holds 2024 Canada 55+ Games meeting

Team Yukon held their 2024 Canada 55+ Games meeting at Mount McIntyre in Whitehorse Nov. 9.

By Morris Prokop on November 17, 2023

Team Yukon held their 2024 Canada 55+ Games meeting at Mount McIntyre in Whitehorse Nov. 9.

The games take place in Quebec City August 27-30.

The games are a multi-sport event with over 2,500 participants from across the country competing in 26 different events.

Events at the games run the gamut from indoor sports like ice hockey and swimming to outdoor sports like golf and slo-pitch.

Optional events open to everyone include 5 km and 10 km runs.

Something called sandbag baseball is a demonstration event at the Quebec games.

The games are open to adults aged 55 years and over as of December 31 of the year the Games are held.

Team Yukon’s schedule runs from Aug. 26 (check-in at the Plaza hotel in Quebec City) to Aug. 31 (checkout).

Adrienne Marsh, alternate director to the Team Yukon Organizing Committee and Canada Senior Games Organization, related why she’s involved with Team Yukon.

“I just really like being part of the group and part of what they’re doing for getting people to come to these games and have fun and the whole spirit of Team Yukon, so I just decided I wanted to stay on as a volunteer.”

Marsh was impressed with the turnout for the packed meeting.

“Oh, my gosh. Amazing turnout,” she exclaimed. “It’s so great to see so many people that are keen and into it. There’s a lot of returning folks, although I did see a lot of new faces, and that’s really exciting, because there is some great events that they can take part in and just be part of Team Yukon and the spirit of the games is just really exciting. It is really good to see so much excitement here.”

Marsh explained what was going on at the meeting.

“It’s just a general information gathering, so we’re just seeing how many people are interested in coming to the 55+ Games and telling everybody the information about how it works, what does the week look like, what does accommodations look like, uniforms – just giving everybody an idea of what events are taking place in the host city.

And seeing who’s interested in forming Team Yukon.

“If they came here today, they would have gotten the I Might Go form. That gives us general information as to who’s interested, so we can start to form Team Yukon. If they didn’t come today, they can pick up the information at the Elderactive Recreation Association, at their office, or they can also go to the Elderactive website as well. If they are a member of Elderactive, the newsletter will also have the information on it.”

They also have a Facebook page: Team 55+ 2024.

“That has lots of information on the games as well,” related Marsh.

As for the next steps, Marsh said, “We are going to be busy. We meet every month, and the next steps now is making sure we get our accommodations out there and get the information for people so that they can start to look at booking their flights and booking their hotels, making sure that we get uniforms ordered and ready and getting information ready for our next meeting.”

That meeting will be in March.

“We’ll actually have numbers so we can know how big Team Yukon is going to be,” said Marsh.

She added, “It’s exciting. I think Quebec City is going to be a beautiful place. There’s some really great events that people can join. What’s unique about Team Yukon for these games is it’s just about participation and having fun and making those connections and being part of a team.”

Paul Warner caught the tail end of the meeting.

“I’ve been going to the games forever,” he related.

The first games for Warner were in 2004 in Whitehorse. He’s been going ever since.

He’s participated in slo-pitch, curling, pickleball and swimming. He won two bronze in swimming at the last games in 2022 in Kamloops.

Warner said he’s planning on going to Quebec City and participating in track and field for the first time.

“I’ve never been in a race before, but I’ve managed to not drown, so that’s my goal.”

Warner’s mandate has been doing something different each games.

“It has been in the last while anyways. For the first three or four times I played slo-pitch. I got to the part where I couldn’t hit the ball, so I thought I better do something different.”

Warner then got into curling. And then pickeball.

As far as going to the games, Warner said, “It’s just a good vacation, really. Especially when they go out east. We’ll go somewhere else afterwards or before and turn it into a two or three-week vacation.”

Warner said he has been to Quebec City before.

“One of the games was in New Brunswick. Then we flew to Ottawa and rented a car and drove from there. So we stopped in Quebec City.”

Warner added, “It looks like we’ll have a very big team this time. We had a pretty big team last time too. It should be good.”

Tom Parlee was also there attending the planning for the games. This will be his 10th games. He has participated in every games he’s been at in Track and Field.

“I’m a thrower, so I do javelin, discus, shot put.”

Parlee also does long jump. All the events he participates in are individual events.

“I’m in my mid-70s and I’ve been doing it a long time. I used to be the national director. I did that for three terms. So it’s nice to be involved, but I’m stepping back from that kind of role.”

Parlee was president of the Elderactive Recreation Association from 2013 to 2019.

He spoke about his experience with Quebec City.

“We did a cross-country trip in 2017. We went and checked out the next games, which was in St. John, New Brunswick. We were driving, so we were camping across the country. But I don’t think we’re gonna drive this time.”

Parlee had an interesting experience in 2017.

“We were coming back from the east. The whether was quite unstable. We actually were very close to a tornado in Saint-Jérôme. We stopped at Trois-Rivières and got a hotel room. First hotel room we got on this whole trip. And it just poured. And the next morning we found out there was a tornado about 20 kilometres away. Just ripped through Saint-Jérôme.”

Parlee is now in a position to share his experience with the 55+ Games.

‘With my experience I’m sort of a helper, someone to give advice to other people. That woman I was talking to over there, this will be her second games. She’s about my age. She was looking for something else to do, so we were talking about track and field and doing the walking event.”

Parlee explained how the walking event works.

“You pick a time that you want to do it in, so you don’t have to walk fast. It’s not speed walking as such. It could be, if that’s what you do. So you pick a time for the 400 and the 1,000 meters. You have to do the 400 twice. You can change your time on the second one, but it’s the closest net time that you do that gets you the medal.”

Parlee said there’s only one age category in the walking events, 55+.

“Age doesn’t matter,” he related. “I’ve seen people walking with poles, with canes. It’s an inclusive kind of event.”

Parlee added, “This will be a different games because we’ve never been to Quebec. This is the first time in more than 20 years that they’ve actually decided to take it on. So that’s great.”

The registration fee for the games is $175 and includes:

• Opening Ceremonies and welcome lunch

• Closing ceremonies and Gala dinner

• Transportation to/from Quebec City airport

• Transportation during Games

• Games competition, some evening entertainment

More info on the 2024 Canada 55+ Games can be found at https://www.elderactive.ca/canada-55-games

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