For residents of Schlegel Villages, the journey to the Olympics has begun. Across the organization, each village is bringing residents together to compete in five separate events, mirroring the global competition set to launch in Korea in February.
Those who come out on top in the local competitions will represent their Village in the overall Schlegel Olympics, to be held in the latter part of February at Wentworth Heights in the East and Winston Park in the West. The events are part of the organization’s larger Wisdom of the Elder signature program, which recognizes that a person’s will to compete or share their passions, knowledge and wisdom doesn’t fade simply because they’ve moved into a long-term care or retirement setting.
“We all have the inner drive to do our best and we want to win,” says Schlegel Villages recreation consultant Melanie James as she considers the value of investing in such opportunities to bring residents together in fun competition. “I love the competition and the representation from the Villages.”
Perhaps one of the greatest sights is watching residents support each other during the events, regardless of who is competing and which village they’re from. There’s as shared sense of camaraderie and the residents enjoy meeting people from other villages as much as they enjoy competing.
Friendships build over time and residents, team members and volunteers gain a greater appreciation for the collective community of which they are a part. They aren’t simply a piece of one village; they are part of a large family and during the Olympic competition and other Windom of the Elder events, that family reunites in laughter and fellowship.
“I think the day energizes the residents,” Melanie says. “They give more, cheer more and everyone has a smile on their face. At the end of the day when everyone is on their bus and heading home, the residents feel like they were part of something big, something beyond the day to day at the Village. They came, they competed and they left with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.”
Friends, family and guests from the community are welcome to cheer on the competitors at Wentworth Heights in Hamilton Feb. 20 and Winston Park in Kitchener Feb. 22. Watch Live on Facebook.