Care home residents get sporty with GCU

03 October 2016

Care home residents across Scotland got into the competitive spirit on Saturday (October 1) for the second Sporting Seniors Games, organised by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU).

BBC Sports Commentator John Cullen, who has just returned from the Rio Olympics, was the event commentator as teams from care homes in Glasgow, Edinburgh, West Lothian, Midlothian and Ayrshire competed in the event at The High School of Glasgow.

Forty physiotherapy and occupational therapy students and members of staff at GCU volunteered at the Games, which were jointly hosted by veterans’ charity Erskine and Ageing Well, with support from Later Life Training. Participants competed in adapted basketball; boccia bowls; javelin; penalty shoot-out; ‘kurling’; and cycling.

Occupation Therapy student Peter Scalpello, who was Volunteer Co-ordinator at the event, said: “The students got so much out of the event. To see older people at this stage in their life have so much fun and be so competitive is an important lesson. We must all look to enhance quality of life for the patients we will work with in the future.”

The BBC’s John Cullen said: “This is a genuinely inspiring event that I hope will grow year on year so that more older people can enjoy the chance to showcase their spirit and sporting prowess.

“The volunteer students were a credit to the University and contributed so much to a great day for all.”

The event follows the success of Scotland’s first international Sporting Seniors Games, held at GCU last year, which featured a team from the USA. Professor Dawn Skelton, Professor of Ageing and Health at GCU, who organised both events, collected the Games Torch at the end of this year’s event to take to the West Virginian Geriolympic Games in April 2017.