Team from North Tipperary Wins at the Go For Life Games

A team representing North Tipperary won (ex aequo with team from Wexford) the Lobbers event, while its member Kathleen Corcoran received ‘Spirit of the Games Award’ at the Go for Life Games held in the DCU on Saturday, 6th June.  Now in its fourth year, the Go for Life Games is one of the biggest social sports events for older people in Ireland. Run by Age & Opportunity with support from the Irish Sports Council, this year the Games brought together almost 300 older players, from Donegal to Wexford to compete, to stay healthy and to have fun.

 

‘It’s my first time participating in the Games and it has been the most fantastic experience. I really enjoyed it. It’s great to be active and alive!’ said Helen McCormack from the winning team.

 

Team from North Tipperary Wins at the Go For Life Games

Team from North Tipperary First row l-r (sitting): Carmel Chadwick, Helen McCormack, Kethleen Corcoran and Eileen Spellissy. Second row l-r: Margaret O’Sullivan, Geraldine Purcell and Sadie Gleeson. Photo by Tommy Clancy

What began as a one-day event in 2012 is now a year-round phenomenon, with older groups training, practicing and competing in leagues and friendlies across Ireland. And this number is growing all of the time, as new counties come on board. The competing teams this year were from: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown, Fingal, Kilkenny, Laois, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon, South Dublin, Tipperary North, Tipperary South, Waterford, Westmeath and Wexford. It is hoped that, by 2016, there will be teams from every county in Ireland.

 

Team from North Tipperary Wins at the Go For Life Games

Kathleen Corcoran and Ita Mangan, Chair of Age & Opportunity. Photo by Tommy Clancy

The games themselves are devised specifically for Go for Life. ‘Lobbers‘ is a target game adapted from petanque and boules;‘Scidils‘ is a two-sided adaptation of ten pin bowling but using two skittles; ‘Flisk‘ is adapting from boccia and horseshoe pitching. These games, with clear rules and scoring systems can be played and practiced by all 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.

 

Team from North Tipperary Wins at the Go For Life Games

Kathleen Corcoran (top left) and Helen McCormack (second row third from left) from North Tipperary team with co-winners from Wexford and Ita Mangan (top right) from Age & Opportunity. Photo by Tommy Clancy

Mary Harkin, Head of Sport & Physical Activity in Age & Opportunity was delighted with the great response on the day: “We are always hearing in the media about older people not getting enough exercise. When you see the kind of energy and enthusiasm that the Games inspire, you can see that older people can continue – or even start – to live very healthy, active lives at any age. Go for Life has been training older people at a local level for almost fifteen years to lead and encourage older people in their neighbourhoods and communities to take part in sport and physical activity. Programmes like Go for Life, by getting older people more active more often, can benefit everyone. Events like the Games are just a grand example of the kind of smaller activities that are happening in every county in Ireland.”

 

About Go for Life:

Go for Life is the national programme for sport and physical activity for older people. Over fourteen years, it has helped more older people to be more active, more often.  40,000 people take part in Go for Life activities annually.

Go for Life is an Age & Opportunity initiative supported by the Irish Sports Council.

 

About Age and Opportunity:

Age & Opportunity is the national organisation that works to inspire and to create opportunities so that Irish people can live healthy and fulfilling lives as they age.

They do this by working with other national and local bodies to provide access to a wide range of activities, events and training opportunities in:

  • arts and culture
  • sport and physical activity
  • education and active citizenship

 

Age & Opportunity aims to contribute to changes in attitudes and practices in relation to ageing and older people in Ireland such that as people age they can develop their full potential on three levels – the personal, the societal and the civic – to the extent that each individual chooses.

This is informed by international public policy initiatives as well as research showing that participating in society is good for individual health and well-being, and good for communities through the building of social capital.

 

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