Four Bolton Clarke residential aged care communities on the Gold Coast have come together to celebrate fun, fitness and healthy competition in their annual HiJinx games.
In teams called the Winders Warriors, Darlington Devils, Galleon Gardens Gladiators and Gold Coast HomeCare Heros communities hold a sports day of events for their residents and clients including pool noodle tossing, darts, bowls, cooee calling, tunnel ball and many more low impact sporting activities.
Galleon Gardens resident and former police officer Keith Kerr is always a fierce competitor in the games.
“We have won the games for the past few years in a row, and I hope we can take the trophy again. Today I am competing in the cooee calling, darts and bowls, hopefully I can earn us some valuable points,” he said.
Designed to be inclusive of all abilities and fitness levels the games encourage physical activity, participation, building of friendships and lots of laughter.
Winders residential aged care Diversional Therapist Sue Todd said the games are much more than just a sports day.
“We spend many months training and preparing for the games, we have bi-weekly training sessions which are a great opportunity for residents to get regular exercise,” she said.
“It keeps them motivated and gives them something lovely to look forward to, even if the residents can’t or don’t wish to participate they enjoy watching and cheering along.”
The highlight of the games is undoubtedly the Slip Slop Slap Race – where a staff member must put a tee shirt, sunscreen and hat on a resident before running back to the finish line.
“The residents are absolutely in stitches watching this – they love it and often yell lots of encouragement as we do it,” Sue said.
“We also hold a Manager Egg and Spoon Race where the site managers compete with each other and we get a good laugh too.”
This year the Winders residential aged care community took the trophy for the HiJinx Games and are keen to return in 2018 to reclaim their title.
Next year the sites are planning on moving the games forward to coincide with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where the cycling event will go past the Galleon Gardens site.