August 1998: A contingent of 38 Yukoners traveled to Medicine Hat, Alberta, to participate in the 1998 Canada Senior Games bringing home 27 medals, including the "Spirit of the Games" award. This award was given to the team that most exemplified the true spirit of the Games - friendly competition and fair play.
January 2000: The Yukon Council on Aging President, Joyce Young, participated in "Yukon Active Living Task Force" which led to Yukon Council on Aging Board being approached to become the "governing body" for 55+ Territorial Games and Team Yukon at Canada Senior Games. The YCOA Board declined, stating that this was not within their intended mandate.
President Joyce Young left YCOA and with others began developing an NGO specific to organized recreation activities for Yukon adults 55+ - primarily Games. And so the "ElderActive Recreation Association" became a registered NGO with constitution and all.
1st ERA Board was Joyce Young, President, Ruth Thom, Mary Fitton, Drew Dunn, Norm Binns, Sue Higgins, Jo Hopkins, Louise Bouvier, and Larry Thorn.
With Grants totalling $ 7,000.00 in June 2000 from the Millennium Funds, the Health Investment Fund and the Community Development Fund the Association was firmly established and held their first 55+ Territorial Games in October 2000 in Whitehorse. They were a resounding success, prompting a unanimous appeal for a repeat of the Games in October of 2001. This second Annual Yukon 55+ Games was again held in Whitehorse with more participants, more volunteers, more merchant support, and MORE Fun from all reports.
In September 2002 a contingent of 35 Seniors went to Summerside, PEI, to participate in the Canada Senior Games, coming back with 24 medals and the decision of the Canada Senior Games national board to hold the 2004 Canada Senior Games in Whitehorse.
Funding in June 2001 had been procured for a total of $ 15,000.00 from YRAC, Sports and Rec., Lotteries and Project Yukon. The Games in 2001 were gratefully coordinated by the paid Executive Director Joyce Young.
2002 saw grants totalling $ 40,000.00 from YRAC, Sports and Rec. and City of Whitehorse.
For the Canada Senior Games here in Whitehorse in 2004 The Government of Yukon committed $ 190,000.00, and planning and organizing started in earnest. Office space was sevured at the Horwoods Mall with the official opening in September 2003.
ERA funding examples:
At the end of March 2004, Joyce Young resigned as Games Manager. The Board of Directors was required to become a very "hands on" board in order to ensure the games went ahead as planned. Moira Lasson was seconded from Sport Yukon to become Games Manager, and the rest of the staff at Sport Yukon agreed to organize "Team Yukon".
With the funding from the Yukon Government, a grant from Lotteries Yukon, a large "in-kind" donation from the City of Whitehorse, and substantial donations (both in-kind and actual donation) from the business people of the Yukon, the 2004 Canada Senior Games was a huge success. Over 1.200 senior athletes from across Canada and 700 plus local volunteers enjoyed 5 days of sport, fun and camaraderie.
Building on the interest generated by those Games, the ElderActive Board of Directors held a Christmas Pot Luck dinner/dance/sing-a-long in December of 2004. In 2005 a new Board was elected, and they have continued to work toward "active living for Yukon Seniors".
In September 2005, 138 athletes participated in 12 activities at the Yukon Fall Games. There were also 34 non-participants, guests and volunteers involved.
The Board of ERA has contributed towards the dance costumes for the "Yukon's Golden Girls", and has subsidized carpet bowling equipment for Yukon communities who are interested.
In the fall of 2005 planning and fund raising began for "Team Yukon" to go to the 2006 Canada Senior Games in Portage la Prairie in August. Plans are currently underway to hold a "Spring Gathering" - an afternoon of games and socializing to follow the AGM on May 8, 2006.
In May held 2006 Spring Gathering (Annual General Meeting in conjunction with first Spring Territorial 55+ Canada Senior Games and banquet). In cooperation with Golden Age Society. 59 seniors participated.
83 participants an 14 non participants went to the 2006 Canada Senior Games (now 55+ Canada Senior Games) in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Everyone had a great time. Yukon seniors brought back 35 medals and the "Spirit of the Games Award". Team Yukon's second time winning this award in 4 national Games.
Team Yukon's travel subsidy consisted of the $ 40,000 given by YTG Sport and Rec over the last two years, $ 10,000 from Lotteries Yukon, and $ 20,000 ERA earned from a raffle, for a total of $ 70,000.
In October 2006 ERA started a Senior's Activity Day once a week at the Canada Games Center. Entry passes are subsidized for participating seniors.
In October ERA started running a weekly Bingo at the Elk's Hall to raise funds for 55+ Canada Senior Games subsidies and other Yukon senior activities.
In November 2006 held Fall Gathering (Semi-Annual General Meeting, Yukon Territorial 55+ Games and banquet). 92 participants. Some rural Carpet bowling teams participated. For the first time the Canada Games Center was used by ERA for some activities besides swimming.
February 2008: - Two car loads of seniors went to Haines Junction to participate in a friendly day of carpet bowling.
March 2008: - With the cooperation of Tai Chi Yukon, sponsored a Tai Chi seminar in Whitehorse for seniors from the communities. We had 10 participants, from 6 communities. This was deemed a successful first session.
March 2008: - Held an information meeting at the Golden Age Society for all seniors interested in going to the 2008 Canada 55+ Games in Dieppe NP.
April 2008: - A bus load of seniors travelled to Teslin to join local seniors in a friendly "Games Day".
August 2008: - 82 athletes, 8 cheerleaders and 2 chefs de mission travelled to the Canada 55+ Games in Dieppe, NB. Fifty of them went on a guided bus tour to Hopewell Rocks. Team Yukon came home with 40 individual medals in 35 events, and for the third time in five Games received the "Spirit of the Games" Award.
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