Victor Njume medalled in each of his events at the BC 55+ Games in Kelowna last month, and yet the Powell River athlete was a little disappointed in his performance.
“The competition was good, but for myself and my own goals, I didn’t meet my personal best,” said Njume. “I did less than what I usually do.”
Njume holds provincial records for men’s javelin in all the age groups he has competed in. A throw three quarters of a metre shorter than the record he set last year won Njume the gold medal for men’s 75 to 79 javelin. His other gold medal came in the shot put, while he earned silver in the 400-metre sprint and bronze in the 200-metre sprint.
A teacher in Powell River for over 30 years, Njume began training in track and field events more than 15 years ago.
“I coached track when my children were in school, but once they had left, I thought to myself, ‘I might as well do something for myself,’” said Njume. “I started with javelin, then shot put, then added the running. I’ve tried some other events as well, but these are the four I am focused on right now.”
Njume has been competing in the BC 55+ Games since he was first eligible, and has no plans of stopping.
“I’ll keep doing it until I am not able to,” he said. “If I’m still walking and breathing, I’ll keep setting that as a goal.”
For Njume, the highlight of attending the games this year came from the people around him.
“You can’t beat the experience and seeing how excited everyone is to be there,” he said. “I met three ex-Powell Riverites; for two of them, it was their first competition, and they enjoyed meeting everyone and competing. The volunteers were excellent and I thank them for their work. And it was very special that my youngest son came with us to see me compete.”
In addition to Njume and Reg Cisilino, who was previously profiled in the Peak, two other Powell River residents attended the BC 55+ Games. Clay Gloslee won a bronze medal in the men’s 65+ singles 8-ball, and Tom Bagan finished fourth in four men’s 70 to 74 swimming events and fifth in another.
Next year, the BC 55+ Games will be held in Richmond, and Njume has a challenge for everyone in Powell River aged 55 and over.
“Consider going to this meet; there are lots of events to compete in, from track to cycling to cribbage and darts, to curling and pickleball,” he said. “What do you like to do? Select what you enjoy and give yourself five years to work at it, and you will see the progress you can make, the improvement in your skills and health. Even if you don’t win a medal, your body will feel different and you’ll be healthier. Give yourself those five years, see it through, and learn more about yourself while you do it.”