By Darren Lum
Published April 3 2018
Moving to the country to retire doesn’t mean you have to leave behind your passion for competition or recreation fun said a local active retiree Marianne Fenninger.
There are plenty of local 55 plus Ontario Senior Games Association (OSGA) district 11 competitions to register for this coming spring and summer.
Among the things Fenninger did in her first year of retirement here was compete in the OSGA downhill competition. She’s been competing ever since.
Fenninger has loved the opportunity to compete and enjoyed the chance to socialize with other active seniors like herself and her husband who is semi-famous for building a “net zero” house steps from Sir Sam’s Ski and Ride she said.
“I think it is a tremendous social [opportunity] … We’re all getting older every year … it just helps to keep people active. It’s a fun thing and the community has started to recognize and given a little bit of funding like shelters” she said.
One good example is the installed shelter in Stanhope. She hopes Head Lake Park is another one.
When the Highlands hosts these events it helps to raise the profile of local facilities and locations she
“It gives advertising to the tennis courts that very often in the day they are empty. Certainly it helps the community. As far as Sir Sam’s when you have a venue there it brings people to Sir Sam’s who may not have otherwise gone there and also you want it to proliferate. You want to have these things in the county. You have to participate for them to stay alive” she said.
Fenninger and her husband were avid competitors in alpine competing in the masters category across the country before they moved here.
Coming this season she will have competed in five senior games which includes summer and winter.
She has represented the district in downhill skiing and in tennis. Those events are what she has done all her life. She admits time doesn’t permit her to compete in any other sports. When she isn’t busying as a convenor or competing on the slopes or at the court she is active with other groups whether it’s hiking biking or even tennis.
Fast forward six years Fenninger is the convenor for the plus 55 district 11 one-day tennis tournament.
“You want the games to go on and to have such participation. People need to be encouraged to participate. They don’t just sign up without any communication without any hype. You have to massage them because people think: ah it’s a contest. It’s a competition. Sometimes there is fear about that but when you get into your own age category and you’re competing against your own peers it makes it a lot of fun and it’s very competitive as well. There is a lot of talent in the senior and master levels” she said about why she volunteers.
As a convenor she said she organizes the event which includes the brackets co-ordinating volunteers and securing the venue.
Her involvement in tennis extends beyond the senior games. As a tennis pro which means she has instruction certification to teach tennis from Tennis Professionals Association and the Ontario Tennis Association she is looking at ways to grow the sport by encouraging people of all ages to take it up.
The registration fee is $17. This fee allows you to enter one or all 13 events in district 11 Summer Games 2018. Additional fees for bowling golfing and pickleball. Participants’ deadline to register is April 16 2018.
The OSGA district 11 – Haliburton/Muskoka Summer Games 2018 district registration forms are at the local Legion Gravenhurst Seniors Centre Pinestone Resort and Conference Centre 241 Pizza in Haliburton or the OSGA website under district 11.
Volunteers for this summer (yet-to-be scheduled) event she said are always welcome. There are all kinds of things people can help with she adds. Contact her for questions or volunteer your help to her at 705-754-1067. For general inquires about other events contact Mary Johnson 705- 754-1884 or Doug McIntosh at 705-489- 3850.
Even for those who don’t compete or volunteer cheering is encouraged.
“Come out and cheer – be part of the community” she said.