Care home residents compete in the alternative Olympics
Teams of older people and their carers are set to compete against each other in the fifth Sheffield Care Home Games, at Don Valley Stadium on Thursday 26th July.
The event, organised by Sheffield City Council’s Activity Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospital’s Care Homes Support Team, is a celebration of physical activity in older age and is set to inspire teamwork as well as sharpen competitiveness between the rival homes.
The average age of the competitors is 85 and the oldest participant is 101 years young. Chapel Lodge Nursing Home at Chapel Town lay claim to having the most experienced team; in total they are 295 years old!
Participants will compete in a number of events that vary in physical exertion and skill, including bowling, skittles, target throwing, dominoes and mini golf. The event starts with a mass warm-up of chairobics and includes a dance display.
There is also a flag / poster design competition for the more artistic members of the care home community and the theme this year is ‘The Spirit of the Olympics.’ This competition is being judged by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor John Campbell, who will also award the winning trophies.
Councillor Campbell said: "With the Olympic games just days away it is great to see that age is no barrier to getting involved in physical activity as these Care Home Olympics show.
"These games are a great example of how older people can keep moving and enjoy themselves even with limited mobility. It's also a great social occasion, and it's fantastic to see older people from all over the city getting together and having so much fun."
The ‘Spirit of the Olympics’ is a theme that resonates with our specially invited guests, Sheffield’s own Olympic medal winning couple, John and Sheila Sherwood. We hope that their presence and opening speech will inspire the competitors to world class performances, as they did with the young Lord Sebastian Coe.
2011 winners, Knowle Hill Residential Home at Halfway, are hoping for the same success this year. Carol Grayson, who heads the team, says last year’s trophy and medals are still proudly displayed at the home; ‘winning is an added bonus but the residents enjoy the taking part anyway.’
The Hallamshire Care Home, who has supported the event for many years, have a more competitive approach to the games. Scott Melville, the home’s manager, says that ‘a lot of work has gone into their preparation; we have held heats to select the most skilful residents and staff to represent the home, and there has been a great deal of client involvement in creating our flag.’
Helena Lee of the Care Homes Support Team and member of the planning team said: "The Care Home Games has become a really important and popular event on the Sheffield Care Home calendar, with many homes taking part every year. It’s great to see the same residents and staff at each occasion who love to dress up and ‘make some noise’, as well as welcoming new participants to the spectacle!’
“The planning team were thrilled that this year’s event, which has inspired similar competitions across the country, could be held the day before London 2012’s Opening Ceremony. Kelly Riley from Activity Sheffield hopes that ‘it will get everyone in the Olympic Spirit.”
Running order times:
Welcome & Opening 2pm
Competition events 2.30pm – 3.30pm
The teams taking part are from:
Knowle Hill, Castelayn, North Hill, Hallamshire, Silver lodge, Deerlands, Blenheim Court, Loxley Court, Chapel Lodge, Park View, Dalewood View, Richmond Heights, Midhurst, Aaron House, Balmoral, Brackenfield Hall, Haddon Court, Henleigh Hall, Laurels & Limes, Tapton Court