Aspen Lake and St. Clair together on the Windsor Express Basketball Court

Among many different roles Charlotte Bautista took on throughout her career educating teenagers, she coached basketball. She’s nearly 90 now and those days are well in the past, but her love of the game still shone clearly when she joined fellow residents from her home in the Village at St. Clair for a midday game between Windsor Express and London Lightning on Feb. 26. 

Marcel and Hannah prepare for the tip-off between two tall basketball players.
Marcel and Hannah are ready for the tip-off at the game.

Charlotte watched every movement throughout the close match as the game moved up and down the court, and team members noticed a spark of energy in Charlotte that has been missing through the winter months. Throughout the close game, which ended in a 4-point London victory, she was fully engaged and the team was happy to see it.

Sometimes it’s just nice to do something different for a change, and the residents and team members were grateful the Express invited them to attend the rare midday game. Residents from the neighbouring Village of Aspen Lake were part of the experience as well and a cross section of team members from recreation, nursing and the Program for Active Living in both Villages were there for fun and support.

Claire Tofflemire grew up playing basketball and as a kinesiology student from The University of Windsor completing her placement at the Village of Aspen Lake, she was happy to join the group.

“I work with some of these residents every day so it’s nice to see them outside of the village environment,” Claire says, “and I got to talk more with some of the residents that I don’t normally see every day, so it was nice to get to know them a little better.”

She started at the Village in January and is already seeing how valuable it is for team members to build strong relationships with those they serve, and events like the basketball game offer the perfect opportunity to do just that.

“The residents were so happy to go,” she says. “It was a really good experience.”

Marcel, one of the residents from St. Clair, was invited to toss the ball for the ceremonial tip-off, and recreation director Hannah Renaud said he was cheered on by the Village group, which added another fun element to the experience.

Both Villages would like to thank the Express for inviting them to take in the game – “everyone was cheering at the end,” Hannah says, and they’ll be watching for other opportunities in the future to cheer on their local team.