Sports

Let the games begin in Vernon

Arthur Lo, of Kelowna competes in the 75+ category in table tennis at the BC 55+ Games Wednesday at Hassen Arena in Armstrong. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star) -
Arthur Lo, of Kelowna competes in the 75+ category in table tennis at the BC 55+ Games Wednesday at Hassen Arena in Armstrong. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)
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Competition is officially underway for the B.C. 55 plus Games.

More than 3,500 participants are filling venues from Armstrong to Coldstream in the North Okanagan.

It's been 30 years since Vernon hosted the games and this time it's a lot bigger with more athletes and events.

Sherrie McGraw, a distance runner from the Lower Mainland, says she loves the games and it's her second time as a competitor.

"I love running in general so this kind f puts another spin on it, " she said. "I prefer to do half-marathons, I have more time to play the field a little more, this is pretty intense."

With 28 different sports taking place in the Greater Vernon area spectators can catch everything from track-and-field to table tennis.

Organizer and table tennis player John Neilson says there are 106 players in his sport from all over the province.

"We have a few from Vernon, about four of us playing, and then there is a large number from the coast coming up and they are very good," explained Neilson. "We actually don't have a lot of the young ones here, the biggest age groups are over 70."

And of course it wouldn't be the senior games without darts.

Hedley McMullan has been playing darts since the 1990s, as it was a family affair.

"People say, 'oh you're going to the senior games?'," said McMullan. "Well, don't forget there is a lot of good dart players in the senior games because we all played against each other coming up to get to be a senior, and now we are all seniors they are all still there, and they are still good players."

The opening ceremonies are tonight at 7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place and the closing ceremonies are slated for Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the Vernon Recreation Complex.

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