Care home residents take part in 'OAP Olympics'

Older people got into the Olympic spirit as they took part in the fifth annual Sheffield Care Home Games at Don Valley Stadium.

The aging athletes, who had an average age of 85, took part in a range of activities including bowling, skittles, mini golf, target throwing and dominoes.

The oldest participant was 101 and Chapel Lodge nursing home at Chapeltown brought along the most experienced team, with a combined age of 295.

Balmoral Care Home resident Nell Marshall, 92, said: “It’s a really good event. I keep getting told that I’m doing the 300m hurdles but really I’m doing the golf.”

And Caroline Catternole, from Henleigh Hall, said: “It’s been going on for five years now but this is the first time I’ve been here. I just like to be here and have fun.”

The event was opened by local Olympic star couple John and Sheila Sherwood.

John won a bronze medal in the 400m hurdles in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico, and Sheila won a silver medal in the long jump in the same year.

Sheila said: “I was born and bred in Sheffield and had a dream as a little girl at school that I wanted to be a PE teacher and an Olympic athlete. I succeeded in both of those dreams.

“I competed in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964 and that’s where I met John.

"I went half way around the world and met a guy who lived 40 miles away in Selby! Four years later we married in April 1968 which was just before the Mexico Olympics.”

Sheila said the care home games were a great way to get older people involved in sport and into the Olympic spirit the day before the London 2012 opening ceremony.

“This is all about Olympic spirit. Olympic spirit is all about taking part and doing your best,” she said.

The event was organised the Activity Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospital’s care home support team.

Helena Lee, a specialist nurse in the care home support team, said: “Because there’s such a focus on the Olympics and young people it’s really nice to focus on older people who perhaps are a little bit frail.

"It’s not to say they can’t achieve sporting success.”


Flag competition:
3rd – Hallamshire Residential
2nd – Chapel Lodge
1st – Dalewood View

Overall competition:
Bronze – Henleigh Hall, Abbeydale
Silver – North Hill, Southey Green
Gold – Knowle Hill, Halfway (who were also 2011 champions)


Sourced from Postcode Gazette, 26th July 2012.