The Manitoba 55+ Games have brought a lot of people to southwestern Manitoba.

The Games started Tuesday and will wrap up with the final medals being presented Thursday afternoon around 4:00 pm.

Host committee Chair Bryam Mintenko is thrilled with the turn out and how the games have gone so far. “We started with opening ceremonies on Tuesday and Glenboro is full of people. There are lots of vehicles around town and the campground is full.”

The 55+ Games are being held in three communities.

“We have the bulk of the sports in Glenboro with the swimming taking place in Wawanesa and Carberry is also hosting five sports” said Mintenko.

The games in Glenboro have some demonstration sports like Belgian bowling and badminton. Mintenko also credits the volunteers for making the games a reality. “We have about 200 in total with 150 in Glenboro and another 50 in Carberry and some at the swimming venue in Wawanesa.”

While athletes are competing in 25 different sports pickle ball and slo-pitch ball are the most popular sports. There are 70 pickle ball competitors and slo-pitch has attracted 13 teams.

“This is actually a qualifying year for the Canada Games set to take place in New Brunswick in August. Many of the sports here the winner will qualify to move onto the National 55+ Games and that is something many of the participants are excited about and trying to gain that berth into the nationals championships” said Mintenko.

Hosting the 55+ Games resulted in Glenboro upgrading ball diamonds with a brand new building, canteen and washrooms and picnic shelter.

“We also picked up some grants to upgrade our community hall which hosts the athletes banquet so there are some spin-offs that come with the games. We also saw increased volunteerism and we hope people continue with these sports. We’ve already had a pickle ball club start up in the area because of the games.”

The Manitoba 55+ Games run through until late Thursday afternoon.

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