Patti Kagawa shows off her collection of gold and silver medals from the BC Senior Games in August. The Langford resident cleaned up in swimming events.

Age no barrier for Langford athlete

Patti Kagawa entered the BC Seniors Game on a whim — she wanted a summer holiday the Koontenays. To her surprise, she came home with a fist full of medals.

Patti Kagawa entered the BC Seniors Game on a whim — she wanted a summer holiday the Koontenays. To her surprise, she came home with a fist full of medals.

The 55-year-old Langford resident and recreational athlete signed up for the south Island swim team to be part of the games held in Trail, Castlegar and Nelson, as a participant rather than a spectator. Her husband is on the Juan de Fuca soccer team and was out to help defend their title.

Kagawa was surprised to be accepted on the south Island team without qualifying meets.

“I’ve swam at Thetis lake quite a bit, but never on an organized masters swim team,” she said. “The group from the south Island are very serious. They swim hard. They were very competitive when they were younger. They like to keep that edge.”

Swimming events were short — between 25 and 100 metre races. Kagawa picked up four golds and two silvers in her 55 to 59 age group. She shrugs off the awards — it was more interesting to meet inspiring people and make new friends.

“It was amazing seeing women in their 80s and even 90s swimming competitively,” Kagawa said. “Seniors games works to keep people active. You’re not out to get gold medals, it’s about keeping active.”

She said seeing an 85-year-old athletes compete in shotput or at golfing events shows people can be active for a long time. The games have wide latitude for people with limited mobility, with sports of high intensity such as track and field, to minimal physical output, such as card games.

“There are tons of sports and games,” she said. “You just have to find your sport, something you enjoy doing.”

Kagawa is already a keen example of someone not letting stereotypes of age get in the way. In 2008 she cycled across Canada and then wrote a book about it called From Sea to Shining Sea. She wanted to  prove that kind of adventuring isn’t just for young adults.

“I was trying to inspire people to say you don’t have to be young to do this,” she said. “When you’re young you have no money, but when you’re older you don’t think you can do it. But you just have to take your time as you get older. You have to make sure you don’t hurt yourself.”

For more on the BC Senior Games see The 2012 games are in Burnaby.



Just Posted

‘The system has fallen apart:’ Victoria woman’s son died a day after being accepted to treatment centre

Victoria man’s body went undiscovered in Victoria parking lot for five days after overdose

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

CRD tickets cyclists who ignore stop signs at Lochside trail, Saanich Road intersection

Many cyclists don’t heed the stop signs, use pedestrian-activated crosswalk light

Inaugural Sarah Beckett memorial Run raises $20,000 for law enforcement scholarship

Widow calls run, community playground fitting tributes to fallen mom and Mountie

VIDEO: Victoria airport guests see dinosaur surprise

Two boys dressed as raptors get a shock when their grandmother comes to greet them

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. Ferries vessel breaks down right before long weekend

Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route impacted most, revised schedule adds 4 a.m. sailings

Weather Canada issues thunderstorm alert for coastal Vancouver Island

Severe thunderstorm watch issued around 4:15 p.m. as storms developed over sections of the Island

Nanaimo man gets jail time for posting explicit photos of ex-girlfriends

Man’s name cannot be revealed to protect victims’ identities

North Island thrift store robbed at knifepoint, say RCMP

Suspect fled on bicycle following Tuesday stick-up

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Most Read