Oak Bay seniors strike gold at 55+ BC Games

Oak Bay athletes bring home multiple medals from 55+ Games

55+ BC Games 800-metre gold medalist Howard Pole

The 55+ BC Games provided a host of  golden moments for two Oak Bay athletes.

Howard Pole, an avid runner for 35 years, won gold in the 800 metre event, one of up to 29 in the annual multi-sport event produced by the BC Seniors Games Society. The Games were held Sept. 20 to 24 in Coquitlam.

It was also a golden games for Oak Bay friend Douglas Monds, who won the hammer throw, weight throw and pentathlon in the 85 to 89 division, and silver in shotput, discus and javelin.

With his family cheering him on, Pole, 83, won the 800 with a time of 4:01:22, a full four seconds ahead of the next competitor. The gold adds to his collection of more than 25 medals earned during his racing career.

Initially a 10K runner, he moved to the 800 metre event several years ago for a little easier training. The Shannon Oaks resident makes good use of the nearby running track at Oak Bay High, training every morning before breakfast, and also gets out with a Thursday morning run/walk group that each week explores a different route, ranging from Metchosin to Sidney.

His first foray into running came when his daughter brought home a ParticipACTION brochure from the organization that promotes physical activity and sport participation. “She said, ‘You should try one of these (activities) and I chose running and I had never run before in my life,” Pole recalls.

Training started at just 200 metres, which left him winded his first try, but seeing improvements every day, “it gradually got bigger until I was doing 2 1/2 miles,” Pole says.

Initially drawn to running for the affordability – all you need is a good pair of runners – he also appreciates the physical and mental benefits it provides.

“I noticed after a few months my mind was sharper that before I started running.”

Monds, a former phys-ed teacher at Colquitz junior secondary with a life-long passion for sports, also trains at the Oak Bay track. Cheered on by daughter Emma, he began competing in 1994 and is looking forward to the World Masters Games in New Zealand this spring.

Hammer throw is Monds’ favourite of the field events, appreciating the rhythm of the motion and the distance he can throw it.

The two men both  enjoy the opportunity the Games provide to meet other like-minded people.

“When you go to the Senior Games, you meet people you only see once a year and they come from all over B.C. That’s one of the best parts,” Pole says. Some 3,000 athletes participated this year and “they’re all really positive people.”

 

editor@oakbayews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

Group desperate to find solution to wrecks lining shores of Cadboro Bay

Caddy Bay ‘a wild west’ without authority, say locals

Victoria police arrest two people during ‘tweet-a-long’ Strike Force operation

VicPD offering ‘behind the scenes’ look at the operation

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

COVID-19 demolishes new construction in Greater Victoria

Value of new building permits in Greater Victoria drop more than 37 per cent

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Chilliwack dad rescues two young daughters after truck plunges into lake

“I used every single one of my angels that day,” said Dennis Saulnier

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Most Read