Members of the Mountbellew Ambers Active Retirement bowls team have taken home one of the top prizes at the 2022 Active Retirement Ireland national indoor mats bowling competition, which took place at the Gleneagle INEC Arena in Killarney, Co. Kerry this week.
Mountbellew Ambers team members Mary Rooney, Noreen Gayle, Dominic Rooney and team skip Mattie Donnellan were last night (01.12.22) presented with the 2022 large bowls plate by Active Retirement Ireland National President Anne Drury and CEO Maureen Kavanagh.
Over three days, 57 Active Retirement teams from across the country competed for the 2022 Active Retirement Ireland Cup indoor mat bowls at the organisation’s 10th annual flagship event, which has been held every year since 2010, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 when it was suspended due to the pandemic.
Speaking at the awards presentation, Active Retirement Ireland CEO Maureen Kavanagh said: “Congratulations to Mountbellew Ambers on their success at this year’s competition. They have met strong competition from many talented teams over the past few days to emerge the winners of the 2022 large bowls plate.
“This year’s National Bowls Competition is of extra special significance as it indicates that older people are taking charge of their lives again post-pandemic. It showcases the resilience of older people as they come back to volunteering, and to resume an active and social lifestyle after two years of lockdown.
“The 230 bowlers who competed for the Cup this week, our members in attendance and our volunteers who helped with the event, epitomise the absolute determination of older people not to be left behind or left out of life. We are grateful for the generous support of our event host, the Gleneagle Hotel, for making this event possible for so many of our members and for their recognition of the contribution that older people make.”
In 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, Active Retirement Ireland had 550 Active Retirement Associations comprising some 25,000 members. Post-pandemic, current figures show that 81% of ARAs have resumed activities and 18,500 members (74%) have returned to their ARAs.
Ms Kavanagh said: “I’d like to take this opportunity at the resumption of our largest membership event to issue a rallying call to more older people to try and re-engage and build up their social connections again, whether through your local ARA or elsewhere, but to understand that social connection is one of the most important pathways to better health.”
Active Retirement Ireland is the country’s largest membership organisation for older people comprising a nationwide network of local Active Retirement Associations that aim to reduce isolation and loneliness among older people.