Louis Donnelly, 89, plays volleyball twice a week to keep fit.
“I don’t have to try too hard,” he said. “It’s important to keep the blood circulating. To stay young.”
Fellow player, John Cortti admires Donnelly’s commitment to the group.
“He’s our pride and joy,” Cortti said. “He´s always smiling and he lasts the whole two hours.”
The Don Montgomery Recreation Centre hosts a volleyball drop-in program which runs twice a week for men and women 55 and older.
Donnelly may be the oldest player in the group but there are others who have illnesses that don’t slow them down.
Ken Holden suffers from Parkinson’s disease and had to cut back on his athletic activities, but still finds time to enjoy volleyball.
“I still hang in here,” Holden said. “But usually I can’t stay for two hours, so if I come in and spend an hour, then I’m happy.”
During her time at the centre, player Betty Hicks has seen many friends sidelined due to illness. This was the case for colon cancer survivor Renato Ercia who was away from the sport he loves for months.
“I have come back to stay active,” Ercia said. “I’m clear now, I’m a cancer survivor.”
The programs offered at the centre are meant to encourage individuals to get out and stay healthy. The volleyball program is fun and allows the players to feel comfortable, no matter their ability.
“I was terrible,” Nancy Campbell said. “I’m still probably their worst player, but I enjoy it anyway. It’s a great bunch.”