Front (L-R): Carmel Ryan, Mary Nolan, David Creene, Breda Stapleton, Eileen Clear, Michael Stapleton Back (L-R): John McGuinness, Eddie Ryan, Seamus Nugent (Team Manager), John Kenny, Billy Brett
A team representing Kilkenny was one of two winning county teams at the 2018 Go for Life Games held in the Dublin city University (DCU) on Saturday.
They joined 23 other teams of older people from around the country participating in a day of fun sporting activities.
The Go for Life Games brings together almost 300 older players from all over Ireland to compete, get active and most importantly to have some fun. Now in its seventh year, it has grown to become one of the biggest social sports events for older people in Ireland.
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, not matter what age you are.
With 24 teams from 21 counties competing Kilkenny 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 Games are a real highlight of the Go for Life year and there is a great buzz around the day which reflects the build-up in each county with leagues, blitzes and weekly games happening in the local sports hubs in the lead up to the national event. It is a really collaborative event with almost 30 different sporting organisations working together to celebrate older people and sport.”
The games themselves are devised specifically for older people. 'Scidils' is a two-sided adaptation of ten pin bowling but using two skittles and 'Flisk' is adapted from boccia and horseshoe pitching. This year Go for Life introduced a new game ‘Málaí’ - an adaptation of the popular cornhole game using beanbags and a wooden box which is now being made for groups all over the country by Men’s Sheds.