Rest Home Olympics 2019

28 November 2019

Rest Home Olympics 2019

Image: The winning team: Potter Panthers from Radius Potter Home​

You just can’t put an age limit on anything; the Whangārei Rest Home Olympics are a true testament to this. 

People from more than 15, mostly Whangārei, rest homes took part in the annual Rest Home Olympics on Friday 15 November 2019 at the ASB Kensington Stadium. 

All who attended were winners on the day, not only competing in fun active games, but also socialising and connecting with each other in a safe and accessible space. 

The annual Rest Home Olympics, held at Kensington Stadium, started with a walk around the stadium, each team flying hand-made banners. The parade was followed by nine rounds of competitive games especially designed with older adults in mind. From ten-pin bowling, balloon volley ball, noodle javelin toss, basketball, big ball force, target ball and boccia, to noodle hockey. The games, run by NorthTec students in training, even sparks the inner Olympian of  Ella Bays. Who, at 105 is the oldest participant of the day (from Jane Mander). 

The event, held every year for at least the last decade, is a strong partnership between local rest home staff, carers, NorthTec, Northland Parafed, Radius Care staff, Whangarei District Council’s Positive Ageing Advisory Group (PAAG) members and its Community Development team. 

The Positive Ageing Advisory Group is working on ways to encourage and enable older adults to participate in the community.

“The Rest Home Olympics not only meets this objective year after year, but in partnership with all the organisations involved, provides an event that is always a highlight on residents calendars,” said Deputy Chair of PAAG, Lorna Child.

“To see the delight on the faces of the residents as they compete in the various games is priceless. Their physical ability may have reduced but the desire to laugh with others, participate competitively and give their best in each game is still strong.” 

Dan Clark, Pathway Manager - Business and Sport at NorthTec says this day is a great opportunity for NorthTec students to see the importance of regular participation in physical activity and its role in maintaining wellness.

“Exercise is for life!” he says, “It’s great for our students to be involved with this community event. It helps with their practical experience in organising appropriate games, but it also shows them both the positive effect physical activity can have to one’s wellness.”

The day wrapped up with a competitive game of noodle hockey with all the carers and volunteers participating. Her Worship the Mayor Sheryl Mai gave each and every older adult a well-deserved gold medal and in return the participants celebrated HWM’s 60th by singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her. 

The winning team; Potter Panthers from Radius Potter Home, walked away with a brand-new wheelchair sponsored by Cubro, Love It Here re-usable bags, a trophy to treasure and a benchmark for next year.

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