The 55-Plus Games is coming upon Island seniors later this month into the month of March. 55-Plus Games denotes this is a "seniors" venture with players that are seniors, 55-years of age and older.
Consternation has been evident of late regarding the way in which prizes have been alloted and what those winnings consisted of.
Recently I was in conversation with an executive member of the Games, I'll with hold the name at this time because I didn't advise I would be writing this Letter to the Editor. The last few years of the Games have seen some seniors dissatisfied as to how the prizes were allocated. If your team/partners came first, second or third in total winnings you are given a ribbon for 'round your neck with a lead-like fob to take home. I won't elaborate here what happens to this marvelous prize once you got home.
In all our club venues, in whatever sport we're conducting at the time, we always pay in cash first, second and third in prizes awarded. We are not interested in necklaces of fabric with attachments. The spokesperson from 55-Plus Games suggested we keep the status quo because that's how the federal office operates. Most of us disagree, after all its our show. Seniors are not invited to attend meetings or discussions and if a club writes in expressing their displeasure they would be lucky to get a response. We're not trying to remove the sportsmanship of the Games by changing the prize structure, we're trying to make prizes more appealing to all. How about prizes of cash and a necklace for your neck? And there's no ruling that stipulates we can't increase registration fees to compensate for monetary prizes.
Seniors should have a say in the governing of the Games, each club should be allowed to send a representative. If the club chooses not to send a delegate then they may have little say at a meeting down the road. This is a typical occurrence on P.E.I. Some people, those in ivory towers, think seniors shouldn't have a say, they're old and "not with it" anymore.
Clubs we've spoken with have expressed the opinion that these Winter Games could 'go down the tube' if more club intervention is not entertained.
Borden-Carleton Seniors' Club