Pensioners from across the north-east convened in Oldmeldrum for the inaugural Older People Highland Games yesterday.
Differing from traditional games, the five teams from care homes around Aberdeenshire locked-horns in the 100m wool pull, welly throwing, caber tossing, the table items memory challenge, the word challenge and the bean bag bucket challenge.
Provost Hamish Vernal opened the event after a piper from Inverurie Pipe Band led a parade of participants and their banners around the Lochter Activity Centre Hall.
Mr Vernal said: “The games highlight the importance of the older people keeping fit. Physical activity leads to better health and cognitive function among older people, and can reduce the risk of falls in those with mobility problems.”
Residents from Edenholme, Stonehaven; Ythanvale, Ellon; Westbank House, Inverurie; Allachburn, Aboyne; and Bennachie View, Oldmeldrum formed teams, which were each boosted by two children.
Event organiser Michelle Riddock, inspection ready officer for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “By including children in the teams it really brought together the two generations and made it quite evenly matched.
“All the care homes competing have been practising and so there has been a nice build-up with some going swimming, cake baking, making banner for their team names and some taking part in a pedometer challenge.
“I would like to thank all those who took part – it’s been a great success. Next year we are planning to roll it out to very sheltered housing and learning disability services with a bigger venue.”
Ythanvale residents Dot Noble, 77 and Betty Murray, 73, were among those who competed.
Mrs Murray said: “I’ve very much enjoyed today, fit a rare treat. I wasn’t sure what we were coming to.”
There was no overall champion of the event, with each of the care homes winning a challenge each. Edenholme and Ythanvale also jointly won the memory challenge.