By: Meghan Yost
Posted: Dec 04, 2018 01:33 PM EST
BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) – In June of 2019, a group of Connecticut veterans ages 55 and up will travel to Anchorage, Alaska to compete in the National Golden Age Games.
“The National Golden Age Games is the premiere fitness competition for veterans 55 years and older where they compete in a variety of sports,” explained Kelly Boscarino, the director of Chapter 126 Sports & Fitness in Bristol, Conn.
Every Thursday the veterans meet at Chapter 126 to hone their skills.
“So today our vets are going to be doing their indoor bocce, shuffleboard, table tennis,” Boscarino said.
Chapter 126 is a state-of-the art adaptive fitness center run by Oak Hill, Connecticut’s largest private provider of resources for people with disabilities and veterans.
“Our veterans come from all over Connecticut,” Boscarino said. “They all belong to different VFWs and organizations.”
I love coming here,” said Earla Lanier, a member of the Connecticut Golden Age team. “I look forward to it every week.”
On training days, the competition is fierce.
“Oh man, they’re hard on each other,” Boscarino said.
But the comradery is even fiercer.
“Comradery, that’s what we look forward to: Friendship,” said team captain David Unsworth.
“It’s just like being back in service,” Boscarino said of the veterans. “It’s great to see them all reconnecting.”
From group exercise, to yoga, Chapter 126 offers these veterans a well rounded exercise regimen.
“You do it at your own pace,” Unsworth explained.
“It keeps them healthy and home and independent longer,” Boscarino said.
And hopefully all their hard work will pay off at the National Golden Age Games in 2019.
“I’m determined to get one metal so hopefully I practice enough here,” Lanier said.
Thanks to a generous donation, the training and games are free for all the vets. Last year 19 veterans from Connecticut went to the game and earned 22 awards. This year, Chapter 126 is hoping to send even more people and the veterans have set a goal to earn 50 metals.
To learn more visit OakHillCT.org.