Fun and games at senior Olympics
A tin foil sign reading ‘Selympics' is emblazoned high above the heads of retirees who are competing in a homegrown version of the Olympic Games.
With the help of a visit from former Olympian Bruce Kendall, the residents at Selwyn Village in Point Chevalier are delving into the spirit of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
A bustling hall of retirees boasted sporting shenanigans as competitors took part in activities such as rowing with newspapers, matchsticks on the bottle-top and marble 'n' spoon races.
Resident and event organiser Ambury Hall says the organisation decided to have a fun Olympics that is geared for people aged over 70 and doesn't involve too much physical exertion.
"It brings people together," Mr Hall says.
"A lot of us, we are on our own, so things like this are the only chance we have to all get together. Not only does it bring all the apartment blocks together but it makes us feel like part of the outer world."
It was also Mr Hall's brainwave to invite two-time sailing medallist Bruce Kendall along to the Selympics.
"I was thinking: ‘How could we see a gold medal?' So I rang up his mother, and because the Kendall family are so wonderful, Bruce said he would be glad to help us."
Mr Kendall won bronze in 1984 in Los Angeles and gold in Korea in 1988, both of which he brought to Selwyn to show the residents.
The athlete says it is the first time since 1984 he hasn't been to the Olympics in some capacity, but he decided not to go because of the birth of his son four months ago.
"It's been very interesting watching the games on TV.
"When you are overseas at the Olympics you usually just get that country's perspective. It's nice to see the buildup in New Zealand and things like this happening."
Mr Kendall would not predict the number of golds that New Zealand would win in London, but says "we've got a good number of chances".
- © Fairfax NZ News
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