Competition, camaraderie draw residents to engage in activities
Newburgh, N.Y. (Sept. 7, 2011) – Residents of Elant at Newburgh experienced the thrill of competition and a lot of camaraderie in the nursing home’s second Olympic games last week.
Events included mop hockey, obstacle course, relay race, target shoot, shot put, beach ball volleyball, cup stacking and basketball shoot. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for each event, and for the overall competition during closing ceremonies. Team spirit and perseverance awards were also given.
“I can see that the competition brings out the best in our residents,” said Elant at Newburgh Activities Director Heidi Williams. “Residents see a need to support their team and try to do their best. Residents feel they have something to contribute to the team effort whether it is actually competing or being there to cheer on their teammates.”
The competition pushes these residents to do things out of their normal routine.
“We have two gentlemen that have competed that don’t usually join the usual games and socials. They are quiet men and keep to themselves,” Williams said. “They both competed in several of the Elant at Newburgh Olympic Games and the determination on their faces was great to see. You can see these residents come alive while they are competing and the smile on their faces after their competition is why we want to keep this week of Olympic games special.”
“It was something competitive to do and I always liked competition,” resident Maurice Robinson said. “I always liked sports, basketball, baseball and football.”
Residents Warren Coffey and Joe Gibbs were both awarded four medals with Gibbs taking top honors with three golds (shot put, volleyball and relay race) and one silver (basketball). Family members also attended the awards ceremony and Joseph Deweever, a resident of Newburgh, who recently participated in the Paralyzed Veterans of America games, presented the medals.
Mr. Gibbs said he competed simply because, “It’s fun to compete.” In his youth he played basketball and shot put.
The games, originally planned for every other year, may become an annual part of the activities schedule since they are so popular with the residents, Williams said.
Resident Maurice Robinson receives a gold medal for basketball from Joeseph Deweever.