MORE than 50 senior citizens around Swindon took part in their own Olympics from the comfort of their care homes.

The first event of its kind in the town saw pensioners competing in virtual games of golf putting, foam javelin, tin can alley and target mat.

All sports were planned in consideration of each elderly participant's different physical and mental abilities.

Each care home recorded their six best performances in each event before judge Chris Baker picked who would win gold, silver and bronze medals.

Guinness Care at Prince Rupert Court took home the top prize for their overall efforts.

Staff at Ridgeway Rise got into the spirit of things by creating colourful banners with Olympic rings which were hung up around the home as well as giving numbers for each team taking part and kicking off with a torch relay between colleagues and residents.

General manager Bella Balaci lit the flame to let the games commence.

She said: "It was a great initiative. We loved joining in a friendly competition with other care homes. Big congratulations for the winners and hopefully we will be able to do it in-person next year.”

Swindon Sports Forum organised the three-day Senior Games event held earlier this month along with Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire and Swindon Sport.

The pandemic prompted a change of plans to make the games virtual rather than having all six care homes taking part together in the same venue.

So Prince Rupert Court in Freshbrook, Hurst House in Pinetree Rise, Kings Court off Kings Hill, Lansdown Hill in Wroughton, Park View in Blunsdon and Ridgeway Rise in St Andrew’s Ridge received activity packs with all the equipment they needed to compete separately.

It is hoped that the 2021 version will feature face-to-face competitive activities with even more care homes taking part.

Bella added: "We used to have an open door event every three months here. The current situation unfortunately restricted our options, so it was great to see that a virtual substitute could be equally enjoyable.

"Everyone thoroughly enjoyed all the challenges."

Ridgeway Rise finished the games in fourth place, taking silver in Javelin and bronze in Golf. Residents received certificates and medals.

The care home runs a 'dream catcher' project to help those who live their make their wishes come true.

As part of this, one resident who hoped to one day sing on-stage for an important event got to sing the national anthem at the Games' closing ceremony.