Peninsula Track athlete Danny Daniels has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
The 85-year-old has been competing in track and field events for over 70 years and says the sport keeps him in check, both mentally and physically.
“The two main things about being a part of a club like Pen Track is that the physical activity keeps you moving and gives you a focus. As well, the social aspect of meeting new people and attending events gets you out there. It’s important for many seniors that they stay active or else their lives become sedentary,” Daniels said.
He noted that Pen Track currently has nine senior (masters) athletes in their club, three of whom were new members as of this season.
“It’s a very open club in terms of the fact that we are happy to welcome anybody,” he said.
“We invite people to come out and give it try for a couple of weeks and if they end up finding that track and field is for them, they can register with the club and use the club’s equipment and coaches.”
Daniels said every year he is surprised by new members who join and eventually become competitive masters athletes.
“You see these people join, and they come out to practices recreationally and lo and behold, slowly they become competitors. To see their faces when they win their first medals, it’s priceless,” he laughed.
Masters athletes (anywhere from age 50 and up, depending on the event) usually compete in five year age categories, he explained.
“That way you’re only competing with people of your general age,” Daniels said.
Outside of the competitive side of track and field, Daniels said many athletes join just to try something new.
“We have many athletes, especially ladies, who start from scratch later in life and they find they have these hidden abilities they didn’t even know they had. We have women who have lots of success in hammer throw, weight throw, discus. These are all fairly simple activities and ones that don’t require a lot of training or equipment.
“But they keep the body moving, they get people out to the track and they cater to people of all sorts of shapes and ages.”
For more information on Peninsula Track and Field Club visit www.pentrack.org.