With the B.C. Summer Games just five months away

Senior helps bridge financial gap

Valerie Wilson is organizing events to help athletes who can’t afford to go to BC Senior Games

Valerie Wilson has played bridge in the BC Seniors Games four times, bringing home medals – including two golds – from three of them.

But despite the impressive showings – two with partner Evelyn Sutherland and one with Evelyn Ware – the last thing Wilson wants anyone to do is assume she is an expert at the game, even after 20 years at the table.

“Believe it or not, I’m going to start taking lessons in April,” the White Rock resident said.

“I’m a good player, but I’m not that good. Not nearly as good as a lot of my peers – not by a long shot.”

Good or not, Wilson’s passion for the game is undeniable.

And with this summer’s B.C. games in sight, she’s determined to help ensure those who qualify to represent the local zone can afford to go.

Government support for participants used to amount to between $60 and $100 each, Wilson explained. But it hasn’t been available since 2009, making the cost of competing difficult for some to manage.

Wilson said she knows of players “who will do without some other things” to make the trip if they qualify.

In addition to accommodation, competitors are responsible for their own meals, tea and coffee throughout the games. Until this year, they had only to worry about their accommodation.

To help offset the costs for qualifiers who belong to the Kent Street Activity Centre, Wilson is helping organize a pair of bridge tournaments which she hopes to hold at Centennial Arena this spring. She estimates the two tournaments would raise about $1,600, which would be divided amongst the qualifiers – up to 15 people.

“It’s not a huge amount of money, but it would definitely help,” Wilson said.

Earlier this month, Wilson appealed to White Rock council to waive the facility rental fee for the two events, which she believes will draw participants from as far away as Hope.

With an entry fee of $15 per person, the tournaments “would be a way for us to independently raise funds to help our seniors from Kent Street go to the Games,” she told council members.

It was suggested Wilson apply for funding through the city’s Grants-in-Aid program, but as of Thursday, she hadn’t heard back. The paperwork states successful applicants would receive their cheques in July, but Wilson said to pull the tournaments off, she needs to know in early April.

“We’re sort of in limbo,” Wilson said.

The Games, which typically draw about 3,500 participants aged 55 years and older, take place Aug. 16-20.

Individuals wishing to donate or for more information may contact Wilson at 604-536-5716.

 

 

Just Posted

Proudly Surrey modifies child-care policy

Slate wants to use school board property for child-care spaces

Surrey school board wants to expand French Immersion program

District had to close program at Cougar Creek Elementary due to low enrolment

VIDEO: Scarecrow festival kicks off in Port Kells

Fourth-annual event will be on until Halloween

Delta to craft whistle-blower policy

The policy is meant to increase public trust and create support for staff in questionable situations

White Rock rail forum leads to renewed calls for relocation

Upgrading safety is not enough say local politicians

VIDEO: North Delta Studio Stomp back for sixth year

The annual art event has local artists opening their studios to the public this weekend

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Remainder of Vancouver Whitecaps season filled with ‘must-win’ games: coach

With Vancouver currently sitting four points out of a post-season spot, each contest is crucial

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Most Read

l -->