The Offaly team that took part in the 'Go For Life' Games 2017
A team representing Offaly took part in the 2017 Go for Life Games held in the DCU on Saturday, June 10. They were one of twenty four from around the country participating in a day of fun sporting activities.
Now in its sixth year, the Go for Life Games is one of the biggest social sports events for older people in Ireland and this year’s event brought together 300 older players from all over Ireland to compete.
Go for Life is the national physical activity programme for older people, run by Age & Opportunity and funded by Sport Ireland. The Go for Life programme and the Games event demonstrates that sports are for everyone, no matter what age you are.
With 24 teams from 21 counties competing, Offaly faced some stiff competition on the day.
What began as a one-day event in 2012 is now a year-round phenomenon, with older groups training, practicing, competing and coming through heats in their counties in order to compete in the finals in DCU. The event is growing every year and it is hoped that by 2018 there will be teams competing from every county in Ireland.
The games themselves are devised specifically for Go for Life. An example of the games played at the event, 'Lobbers' is a target game adapted from petanque and boules, while 'Scidils' is a two-sided adaptation of ten pin bowling but using two skittles.
These games, with clear rules and scoring systems, can be played and practiced by everyone, no matter what level of sporting ability. They are great for developing balance, flexibility and concentration. The social aspect of the Games also brings people together for fun social events with a healthy amount of competition to keep things interesting.
Mary Harkin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity in Age & Opportunity was delighted with the great response on the day:
“The Go for Life Games are a real festival of physical activity, a celebration of sport. The kind of energy and enthusiasm that the Games inspire is proof that older people can continue – or even start – to live very healthy, active lives at any age. Those participating in the event are also testament to the impact that the Go for Life programme has in local communities, empowering older people to keep fit and healthy on their own terms,” she said.
All of the teams, made up from Active Retirement groups, social clubs, Men’s Sheds, sports clubs and other community groups, have been supported by their Local Sports Partnerships.
To find out more about the ongoing Go for Life activities in County Offaly, contact Age & Opportunity on (01) 805 7738 or visit ageandopportunity.ie.
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