MUNSTER | It truly does take a village.
A team effort by The Village People of Hartsfield Village Senior Living Community enabled the squad to take fifth place in conference play of the National Senior League Nintendo Wii Bowling Championship.
Helping bring home the fifth-place conference win to Hartsfield are Lois Parbst, Leora Youkey, Maridonna Helweg, Wilma Smith, Thelma Mattson, Russell Krause, Reno Romani and Josephine “Jo Jo” Knoerzer.
“Teamwork helped us,” said Knoerzer, who averaged 133 pins per game during the regular season.
“We talked about our game plan and helped our teammates set up their shots,” said Parbst, who had the highest average on the team at 163 pins per game.
Since its inception just four years ago, the NSL has grown to 280 teams with more than 1,500 bowlers from 31 states. This is the first year The Village People of Hartsfield Village entered a team in the competition, with bowlers ranging in age from 81 to 93.
Assistant Director of Recreation Karen Gricus said she was looking for new activities in which residents could participate when she found the NSL.
“Movement is important,” said Gricus. “We wanted to find other ways to engage our seniors and Wii bowling provides a variety of exercise benefits,” she said.
The Wii system features simple, user-friendly controls. Wii players sit or stand in front of a big-screen TV and use a wireless controller that translates their arm motions onto the screen.
The Wii game basic arm motions require users to mimic the actual movements of the game. For example, during Wii bowling, users swing their arms in the same motion as a bowler, while holding down a button on the controller. When ready to release the ball, the user releases the button. Because they can sit while bowling, players with disabilities or painful arthritis are able to participate.
“It’s great because everyone can join in, whether they are sitting or standing,” said Timothy H. Nix, executive director of Hartsfield Village. “And, they are getting exercise that is fun.”
Wii games emphasize gentle motions and balance. Health benefits include hand-eye coordination and muscle strength.