Manitoba 55-plus games in Neepawa deemed a success


By: Lanny Stewart

The 32nd annual Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries 55-plus games wrapped up on Thursday and local organizing chairperson Allan Drysdale couldn’t have been more pleased with what transpired after all was said and done.

“Anything this size, you’ve got to expect a few hiccups,” he told “We had nothing serious. The worst problems we had were rescheduling some of the events after cancellations. If that’s a serious problem, then we’re [organizing committee] in the wrong business.”

Drysdale says going into the event, 988 participants were registered to take part in the three-day affair – which began on Tuesday at various venues around Neepawa – however, approximately 20 or so participants cancelled prior to the event getting underway. Despite the cancellations, all regions of the province were represented.

Drysdale mentioned one fellow, from a region which didn’t have many participants, wanting to play pickleball when he arrived in Neepawa, but he didn’t have a partner.  The gentleman wound up receiving a partner and the duo wound up placing very well.

“They took gold,” said Drysdale with a smile.

He says crowd-wise, the slo-pitch event at the baseball diamonds in town generated quite a bit of attention from spectators. 

“There also seemed to be a lot of people watching the floor shuffleboard and floor curling at the Yellowhead [Centre],” he continued.

A big draw at the games was well-known former national radio and television broadcaster Lloyd Robertson, who was a guest speaker on Wednesday night at the banquet, which was sold out. Robertson arrived in Neepawa on Tuesday where he toured the town, while checking out some of the games prior to speaking to the large crowd at the Yellowhead Centre.

It was a big draw. The whole evening went well.”

At this point, Drysdale estimates that the event generated enough revenue to “break even” and was pleased with ALCOA (Active Living Coalition for Older Adults) who play a major role in the games overall. He says the ALCOA group helped with paying some of the bills and supplied some of the equipment needed for the event. ALCOA also applied and received a provincial grant, which helped pay for Robertson’s stay in Neepawa.

“Lloyd’s time was donated,” said Drysdale. “We had to provide all the transportation and lodging, but that was it.” 

Drysdale says the games could find its way back to Neepawa again in the future, but understands that Neepawa will have to wait their turn to host again.

“There are probably enough towns around the province and it could be 15-20 years before we try and get them [games] again. I’d say there’ll be a different crowd of volunteers then.”

Next year’s event will be hosted in Becausejour.