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5 Of The Largest Growing Senior Recreational Activities In Ontario



Everyone is now well aware of the push by health advocators and the senior demographic to stay active throughout their retirement years . The  question is though, what are the activities that are of interest to me personally? Here are 5 activities that are becoming the talk of seniors across Ontario. Some of these events have continued to grow in popularity for years while, there are also a few new recreational activities that seniors are sure to not want to miss out on and should considering giving them a try!

In no particular order, 5 of the largest growing senior recreational activities in Ontario are.....

1. Pickleball

This combination sport of table tennis, badminton and tennis is taking seniors across Ontario by storm in popularity! This new racquet sport game is enjoyable, unique and easy on your body! Pickleball has became very popular in the United States after being introduced there in the summer of 1965 and by the 1970’s the game was so popular in some USA regions that formalized rules were introduced. The game is played by 2 or 4 people on a badminton-sized court using paddle racquets, poly baseball with holes. For further information on this exciting sport please visit the Ontario Pickleball Associations website at http://sites.google.com/site/pickleballontarioorg/

2. Cycling

Those entering their retirement and 55+ age years seem to be continuing to enjoy their hobby of cycling. Whether it be mountain biking, road racing or enjoying a nice bike ride in the park there has definitely  been increased interest in those enjoying what advantages cycling has to offer.  Across Ontario especially in some of the largest municipalities such as, London and Ottawa there are senior cycling clubs for those who are elite or like to cycle as their common form of exercise.

3. Prediction Events (walking, running, cycling, skating, Nordic skiing)

Still have the competitive spirit but not necessarily looking to achieve personal best times in events such as running, walking, skating, Nordic skiing and cycling? Then prediction events are the answer for you! Prediction events allow participants to compete at their own skill level. Instead of a speed competition, participants indicate the time it will take them to complete the specified distance. The goal is to come as close as possible to the stated time.

You do not compete against other people to be the fastest. Instead you compete to be the closest to your predicted time and that makes it a level playing field for all participants.  Statistics are actually showing the Ontario Senior Games Association that the prediction events participation numbers are growing faster than, the timed trial events at the District and Regional Games as well as, at the Ontario 55+ Summer and Winter Games.

4. Golf

Already a popular sport amongst seniors, this sport continues to grow with not only more courses available to enjoy but more courses valuing their seniors and offering fantastic deals and packages for seniors to enjoy. In order to attract the retirement demographic , courses are offering strong incentives on green fees, mid week golfing and golf and dining packages.  Technology advancements have also been enjoyed by many senior golfers as it is not too uncommon to see them still hitting a driver 250+ yards, straight down the middle! Having a Handicap or Callaway scoring system also allows for friendly and fair competition to help the average golfer participate resulting in increased participation numbers in tournament formats.

5.   Volleyball

Not just a popular High school sport anymore! Volleyball continues to be played by those 55+, 65+ and 75+ across Ontario.  Municipalities and Counties are now having weekly senior volleyball leagues that have a combination of competitive and casual divisions. At the 2011 Ontario Winter 55+ Games there were over 180 participants and 22 teams, making it the 2nd largest event at the games, only behind hockey.  Volleyball is a great sport for many seniors as different positions are great for different participant’s skills and abilities.

Regardless of your age, ability, or background one of the five above activities could be the new idea and exciting event you are looking to become involved in!  Your next Gold medal award is awaiting you!

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Matt Trinnear, Program Coordinator- Ontario Senior Games Association




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