Event celebrates the wisdom, mind, body and spirits of residents
For more than a half century, Bob Little practically lived and breathed basketball, first as a player and then as a referee.
He knows the competitive spirit as well as anyone, so when he and fellow residents of Sandalwood Park host teams from four other villages on Aug.2 for the eastern competition of the Schlegel Olympics, his spirit will be fired up.
Bocce ball might not be as fast-paced as the university and Olympic-calibre basketball games he officiated over the course of his 39 years as a referee, but from the seat of his wheelchair Bob will be gunning for the bocce-ball title.
In recognition of his dedicated spirit, Bob was asked to be the official opener of the games and will kick the day off that will see competitors from Taunton Mills, Erin Meadows, Humber Heights and Coleman Care Centre descend upon Sandalwood Park.
“It’ll be interesting,” Bob says, noting with a laugh that the Sandalwood team is in final preparations in the days leading up to the friendly competition. “It could be tough there — guys are working out now, actually doing a little exercise.”
Director of recreation Jennifer Gould expects around 100 guests from the other villages for a day that she says builds a sense of community across the entire organization. A separate Olympics event will be held Aug. 9 at Glendale Crossing to host the western villages.
Residents will compete in a triathlon, cycling, mini golf, bocce ball, archery and a trivia challenge.
“It’s really exciting,” Jennifer tells the Village Voice during a short break away from preparations.
“For us, we’re a small village and we don’t think of us being the ones who can do it because we’re smaller . . . and it’s so exciting to bring everybody here to help us build relationships.”
Residents recall a similar event held two years ago, she adds, and many of them have mentioned how nice it is to meet residents from other villages.
Jennifer also says relationships among team members from other villages are sprinkled with a healthy dose of friendly rivalry, so the Olympics, while celebrating the wisdom, mind, body and spirits of residents, is also great way to connect with other team members.
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