SSFA and Legion branch partnering for Games Night

Prince Albert Legion Branch (Kelly Skjerven/Daily Herald)

The Saskatchewan Seniors Fitness Association (SSFA) in Prince Albert is trying to broaden their appeal and has partnered with the Prince Albert Legion to do just that.

The two organizations are partnering for the SSFA’s first event, a Games Night on Thursday, Aug. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Legion Branch.

The idea came from SSFA President Barry Brezden according to Legion President Rick Hodgson.

“Barry approached us with his organization. He’s kickstarting his stuff, getting them going…, and he thought of the Legion. He popped down and talked to us, and we thought it was a good idea to work together. He’s looking for members, (and) we’re looking for members. The more you gather, the better chances are.”

Brezden said that the Legion branch is one of Prince Albert’s best kept secrets.

“They’re an outstanding venue and if anybody ever takes the time to actually stop and go down there, it’s a great atmosphere. They have great people, they’re a great client base and they have all kinds of events there,” Brezden said,

Brezden said that that the Legion and SSFA are both aggressive about putting on events and he said the Legion’s events are always quality so the partnership was natural.

Brezden added that he is trying to broaden the appeal of the SSFA to go beyond seniors.

“I say that we’re an activities group,” Brezden said. “We’re not really a seniors fitness group. We have that name and we portray it and any time you see us, that’s what it says. But in my mind, anybody 18 and over can join our club and anybody that doesn’t, even if they don’t want to be in fitness or any kind of a fitness event such as bowling or swimming or croquet or whatever or pickleball, what we want to do is, put on events for people like that.”

He explained that the idea is to take away the stigma around the name seniors.

“If you’re 18 and over, you’re a senior to me,” Brezden said. “If you’re into fitness and you want to do paint night while you’re getting off the sofa, you’re getting out there and you are participating. The number one goal of the SSFA is to get anybody and everybody off the sofa. Go do something, stand up and talk to your neighbour if you have to, because that gets the heart pumping and your burning more calories.”

Brezden said the group is also looking for local businesses to partner with on discounts and the Legion is part of that,

“There’s no excuse. It’s not a seniors group so if you’re over 18 you’re in. It’s not a fitness organization because we’re going to have all kinds of activities again, games night being the first one,” Brezden said.

He added that even if you don’t want to be active, you can still be a member because of all of the discounts with local businesses come through membership. He said that each group is helping the other out in this case.

Hodgson said the Games Night idea was inspired by a previous event the Legion hosted. The Legion has games such as pool, darts and shuffleboard and those will be the basis for the new game night.

Players will participate in pool, darts, and shuffleboard. The rules for each game are set up so the goal is to get the least points.”

“There’s rules in there where with shuffleboard, you can’t just throw the rock off the end to get zero because that’s what people will think. If you throw the rock off the end you get penalized by points, but if you get that, if you get the rock in the three then you get zero points,” he explained.

“It’s going to be interesting and fun and (provide) lots of stuff to do for everyone. (It will) get them moving around and we’ll see who can end up with the lowest score.”

Hodgson said when the Legion had their own Games Night three years ago. With the support of the SSFA, he’s hopeful people will come out to the Legion again.

“Everyone thinks the Legion is just seniors, all for old people, (or) veterans. They don’t realize it’s not. There are a lot of young people there too because their grandkids are veterans and kids of veterans and there are a lot of young veterans too. It’s going to be good to get people out to see our place as a place for them to do their activities,” he explained.

The Legion will also be hosting Legion Week from Sept 17 to 23, which is across Canada.

“You have got to come down here and you got to look at this thing because if you buy a membership during that week for next year, you get actually the rest of this year for that price,” Brezden said.

Brezden added that it works out to 16 months of membership for the price of 12.

“You got a great atmosphere. You got all kinds of events going on. You got a great place to meet friends you’ve got you got activities going on all over the place. You get cheap beer and you get 33 per cent off your membership,” he said.

“With that membership. It gets you into every Legion across Canada, and Legions are always nice places to go for where it’s a little safer than some of our other places,” Hodgson added.

The SSFA Games Night is on Thursday, August 24.

“Come on down on Aug. 24, 7:30 sharp. Be ready to compete and the games are going to be not what you think they’re going to be,” Brezden said.