HUNTSVILLE - It may be months until the 2013 Ontario Senior Games Winterfest starts in Huntsville, but officials with the host community and the organizing associations are hoping for some more Muskoka participation in the summer games.
Myke Malone, the general manager of the 2013 senior championships, Vicki Hill, the OSGA District 4 golf convenor and golf pro at Huntsville Downs Golf Club, Matt Trinnear, the OSGA’s program co-ordinator and Erin Hamilton of Sport Alliance
Ontario, met at Huntsville Downs Thursday afternoon to announce that the golf course would be home to the district’s qualifier on June 8 for the OSGA’s summer games, slated for Aug. 14 to 16 in Brampton.
“When Huntsville was awarded the senior (winter) games, the OSGA realigned the districts and we were aligned into Muskoka-Parry Sound-Nipissing district,” said Malone. “So it is like we are a new district and right now we really don’t have much representation, and we would like to have representation from the host district for the winter games. So we thought we would get established for that through the summer games and get people involved locally as OSGA members.”
The cost of entering the June 8 golf tournament in Huntsville is $65 per person. The fee includes 18 holes of golf, lunch and an OSGA membership.
Golfers will be trying to win a spot in the one to 14 handicap, 15 to 25 handicap and Callaway divisions for both men and women.
This is not the first time the town has hosted an OSGA qualifier.
A one-day hockey tournament was held March 27 at the Don Lough Arena to determine who would represent the district at the winter games next year.
Hill said that there is no limitation to the number of golfers who can register for the qualifier and anyone can register right up until the June 8 tournament. “Anyone who enters a qualifier automatically becomes an OSGA member.”
Trinnear said that summer residents who have cottages in the district who wish to compete can do so, as long as they have not tried to qualify in their home region.
“They can participate, but they have to represent just one district,” he said. “They have to choose their district from the start.”
This will be the first time Huntsville has hosted the Ontario Senior Games. The town did host the first Ontario Paralympic Winter Championship in 2006, the Ontario Winter Youth Games in 2010 and the renamed Ontario ParaSports Championships this year.
The senior winter games are scheduled to take place from Feb. 26 to 28, 2013.
Malone said that the district had recently hosted a five-pin bowling tournament in Burk’s Falls to find competitors to represent the region in Brampton. He said that plans are underway to host qualifying tournaments in swimming, cards and cycling.
Other summer games include bid euchre, bocce, carpet bowling, contract bridge, cribbage, darts, euchre, floor shuffleboard, horseshoes, lawn bowling, pickleball, slo-pitch, tennis and walking.
The games are provincial multi-sport championships for athletes 55 and older to help provide them with a healthy, active lifestyle that can contribute to improving quality of life in their senior years.
The Canada Summit Centre, The Lake of Bays Community Centre, Huntsville High School, Riverside Public School, Huntsville Curling Club, Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area, Delta Grandview Resort and Arrowhead Provincial Park will host the events for the winter championships.
To register for the golf qualifier, competitors are asked to call 705-789-1000 to book tee times.
Anyone wishing to participate in either the summer or winter games can contact Malone at either 705-783-9300 or at email@example.com.