Active Aging

Spring 2023

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2 ACTIVE AGING WEEK | SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 2023 2023 Manitoba 55+ Games Mark 40-year Milestone BY JENNIFER MCFEE T he Manitoba 55+ Games are marking a 40-year milestone — and they're still going strong. Started by the Manitoba Society of Seniors in 1983, the games have since travelled to all corners of the province. Host communities have included Steinbach, Arborg, Morris, Neepawa, Beausejour, Brandon, Killarney, Glenboro and Swan River, to name a few. Since 2012 Active Aging in Manitoba (AAIM) – formerly known as ALCOA- MB – has been coordinating the annual Games through partnerships with the provincial 55+ Games committee and the host committee as a celebration of healthy living. The popularity of the event is clear to see since the provincial games event has grown to more than 1,600 participants from 365 participants in its early years. This year, Portage la Prairie will be the host community for the next set of Manitoba 55+ Games from June 20 to 23, says event coordinator Karyn Heidrick. "As you can imagine, hosting 1,000-plus participants competing in 20-plus events while enlisting hundreds of volunteers is no easy task," she says. Not only will the in-person Games be held, but there will also be a virtual version, as well. "After the Games in Portage la Prairie, a month-long virtual games event will take place from June 23 to July 21 for anyone interested in continued participation. It allows for greater reach, inclusion and bonus motivation to move." In celebration of this milestone year, Heidrick says they'll be hosting a few fun contests leading up to the games, including one each Tuesday on AAIM's Facebook page, with prizes up for grabs. "Participants can also send a favourite Games story or photo about an event, a new friend or perhaps a new favourite activity that we can share on our social media and website," she says. Submissions can be sent by email to or by mail to 1075 Leila Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2P 2W7 for a chance to win prizes. "Portage la Prairie will also be planning some local special surprises for this year," Heidrick adds, "But you will have to be at the games in June to find out what they are." Linda Brown, AAIM's executive director, says the purpose of the games is to bring Manitobans together in the spirit of being active. "The games started originally with the idea to show people they could be active at any age. Part of our mission at Active Aging in Manitoba is to provide opportunities for older Manitobans to be active," Brown says. "It's very significant that we've managed to hold the games around the province for 40 years." Whether you're a participant, volunteer or spectator, there's something for you. "Part of the purpose is to bring people together, be inclusive and promote the benefits of being physically active," she adds. "We know that many older adults were socially isolated prior to and during the height of the pandemic, so the Games offer a chance to reconnect with old friends and make new friends." The Games couldn't happen without all the dedicated volunteers, who view serving as their way to give back to and support their local community, she adds. "Some people travel around the province to volunteer at different Games. It's a great opportunity to reunite with friends they might not have seen for a while," she says. "Spectators can come out and watch a variety of activities throughout the day — and they've got three days to do it so there's lots of chances to cheer on the participants." A new online registration system is now open for participants to sign up for events and pay registration fees. To register, visit and click on "Events" in the top menu bar. Then click on "55+ Games Registration" to complete the registration page and pay the fee. The registration deadline is May 12. Golf is one of the most popular sports at the Games every year. (Courtesy of Active Aging in Manitoba) Get travel coverage from the brand Manitobans trust. Learn more and purchase travel plans with Manitoba Blue Cross: ■ Visit ■ Call 204.775.0151 ■ Talk to your trusted broker *Trademark of the CABCP †Trademark of the BCBSA Made-in-Manitoba coverage for getting-OUT-of-Manitoba trips

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