As the curtains draw on Seniors Week in Alberta, the province reflects on the resonating theme of this year’s celebration: Aging is more. 

This story also appeared in LiveWire Calgary

The week-long commemoration serves as a testament to honouring and recognizing the significant contributions and sacrifices made by the golden generation. Moreover, it serves as a poignant reminder of the profound wisdom, resilience and vibrant spirit that seniors bring to the very fabric of society.

Since its inception in 1986, this enduring tradition has encompassed a myriad of events and activities spread across the province, providing opportunities for seniors to connect, engage, and revel in the festivities. Local communities diligently organize an array of events and workshops meticulously designed to cater to the unique needs and talents of senior citizens.

However, beyond the scope of Senior’s Week, the support infrastructure for seniors’ needs remains somewhat limited in the province. This is where the FLC Seniors Club plays a pivotal role. Being the largest seniors organization in Western Canada, the FLC Seniors Club offers over 30 activities throughout the year, ensuring its members stay active and engaged.

In 1983, Gerry Doutre founded the FLC Seniors Club by transforming a storage area at the Family Leisure Centre (now the Trico Centre for Family Wellness) into a gathering space for elder FLC members. Since its humble beginnings, the club’s popularity has soared, now boasting an impressive membership of nearly 3000 individuals.

Embracing the overarching theme of “aging is more” wholeheartedly, the seniors affiliated with the FLC Seniors Club actively participate in various physically-oriented group activities such as yoga, swimming, golf and cycling.

Doreen Munsie, the is Level 1 coordinator for the FLC Cycling Club called the Old Spokes, which is one of the activities that play a crucial role in facilitating exercise sessions while fostering a strong sense of community among the members.

“For bike rides, we have three levels. I am Level 1, which is the less strenuous level of cycling. We travel around 30 kilometers, and go at a speed of a little less than 20 kilometres per hour,” says Munsie, adding that “the other levels tend to be quicker and longer.”

Other than providing coaching while on wheels, Munsie believes that cycling helps provide seniors with a sense of community and connection.

Community behind the club

On a clear morning in June, Munsie met with various club members for another one of their regular rides, and they discussed the community behind the club as well as how their lives change as they grow older.

The club has obtained members of all ages, from people in their sixties, to 90-year-old Jerry Knight, who goes out and proves that “aging is more”.

“I love it, it’s great seeing all these people, but it’s hard for a lot of us to do some of these routes. Many of the members have E-bikes, and they really help us go uphill since many of us can’t cope with it,” says Knight.

“I joined for the biking, but the community and socialization are probably the best part of it. It’s getting to summer now, and there’s a lot of people that I enjoy getting together with,” says Jake Mayoll, a member of the FLC Seniors’ Club.

“I got a call from my daughter one day, and she told me about this club that was in a CBC video. She told me to get involved, and it’s been five years since then, and I haven’t looked back!” says Mayoll.

For more information on the FLC seniors’ club, and how to get involved, please visit the Seniors Club website.

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