Hope athletes bring home medals

Golf and card players lead medal haul at BC Seniors Games

Bob Melnik and Jim Toy brought back two of Hope’s eight medals

Golfers and card players led the medal haul for Hope-based participants at the BC Senior Games, August 20 to 24 in Kamloops.

Robert Sirianni and Jim Toy brought back low-gross golds and Bob Melnik added a silver in the golfing event. In the whist competition, Lou Granger teamed up with Carol Pringle for gold and silver, with Louise Marlatt and Cultus Lake’s Marie Shaw earning a bronze. Ben Taylor scored a silver in men’s recreational badminton doubles.

Toy has golfed in Hope since 1964 but only got into the BC Senior Games in 2009 and he has had good success. At age 79, Toy’s handicap hovers at around 14 over par. He doesn’t recall his scores on the two rounds of 18 at Kamloops but he finished with the low gross in his age 75 to 79 flight.

“It was in the upper 80s,” said Toy on Tuesday. “Not a golden performance — but everyone else was golfing poorly, too.”

Toy says he feels the effects of aging but still likes to set goals for himself, to stay motivated. “Shooting your age” is a target that Toy keeps in-mind when he’s out on the course.

“I shot my age when I was 76 — and if I practice, I might shoot my age next year,” he said. “But to me, the essence of the games is to get the old couch potatoes out and doing something!

“Next year, I move into the 80-plus group, so I’ll be leaving players like Bob behind,” added Toy.

Toy, Melnik, Sirianni, Kats Sunada and Ron Stockton qualified in the Zone 3 playdowns at Chilliwack’s Meadowlands course in May. For Melnik, it was a return after a few missed years.

“The first time I went was in 1998 at Port Alberni,” said Melnik. “I’d say I’ve been to the games probably seven or eight times and medaled five times.

“I golfed well at Kamloops — but didn’t score well,” said Melnik with a grin.

He scored the second low-net, after calculating his 18 handicap. That should have given him a silver but he was mistakenly given a bronze. For the photo here, Toy loaned a silver medal that he’d won in Richmond in 2009 (if you look closely, you may notice that detail.)

Toy and Melnik spoke highly of Sirianni’s performance, playing rounds of 18 at the River Shores and Sun Rivers links.

“He had a 76 on his first day,” recalled Toy, “and a 79 on the second. I knew he was going to get gold — and I think he knew it, too.”

Sirianni was out of town on Tuesday and unavailable for comment.

No Yale or Boston Bar-based participants are listed in the results at 2013kamloopsbcseniorsgames.org.

Other Hope-based participants include: Trisha and Dale Kjemhus in Dragon Boating, Lee and Debbie Pettit in equestrian mountain trail riding, and Laurie French and Shirley Sullivan in whist. Muriel McMullan was slated to take part in equestrian events but had to withdraw.

Zone 3 is a perennial favourite at the games and it topped the medal count again, with 168 gold, 139 silver and 96 bronze. Their 403 medals bested the South Central hosts’ 330 medals.

If you’d like to take part in the 2014 games, they’ll be conveniently located in Langley, running from Sept. 9-13. Check the website at bcseniorsgames.org and look for the quick links on the home page, to guide you in the registration process.

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