An annual national sporting event showing off some more experienced competitors is making its way to Portage in 2023. The Manitoba 55+ Games will be invading many facilities in the Portage area in June next year. Chair of the event, Tara Pettinger, says this should be a really exciting opportunity for the entire community.

"This is a really cool event that brings a huge number of athletes to our community," Pettinger explains. "There are all sorts of different events, and we'll be using a lot of different facilities and spaces in our community for the events. It's an opportunity to showcase recreation in our community and invite people to come and enjoy the games."

Pettinger says having a showcase like this, with competitors being in an older age group, can really incentivize people to stay active beyond their high school and college years.

"Recreation, being active, and those types of things, we all know that gives us amazing health benefits. So, these games have a whole array of things that showcase that recreation element, and how important it is to our health and longevity. I think it's a really great thing to showcase the whole concept of healthy living, competing, and having fun."

Pettinger describes what viewers can expect to see when the games come to town.

"The list is quite lengthy in terms of the sports that are involved," says Pettinger. "There's your standard ones like bowling, golf, floor curling, shuffleboard, and horseshoes. Another massive one that has really taken off in the last few years is pickleball. We're expecting a large number of athletes competing in that. There will be a lot of different things at various venues, both indoor and outdoor."

The chairperson adds they are just about to begin the process of bringing in volunteers.

"At this time, we're looking for people that are interested in a chair role for a certain area," Pettinger continues. "It's quite spread out as there's a sports chair, volunteer chair, special events chair, and more. Those are the types of things we're looking for but we've divided it up a lot because we don't want to put too much responsibility on one person or area. Anyone interested can reach out, and we can discuss some different opportunities that might fit their interest. They can email us at for more information about volunteering."

Pettinger says their main objective at this point is to get meetings happening to get more people on board and start the planning process to have the weekend run smooth and be as fun as possible for everyone involved.