Armstrong auctioneer Don Raffan is following in his mother’s footsteps as he prepares to take on the 55+ B.C. Games in Vernon this week. (Don Raffan Facebook photo)

Fast talker prepares for games

With his cowboy hat, denim on and boots laced, he may not look like the average track and field type

With his cowboy hat marginally tilted forward, denim on and boots laced, he may not look like the average track and field type.

But Armstrong fast-talker Don Raffan is ready to put his best, boot-laden foot forward and leave it all on the 55+ B.C. Games field, which take place today through Saturday.

“I’ve entered everything I can enter,” Raffan said, adding that the only events he opted out of were long distance runs. “I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I thought I’d try everything.”

Raffan, an auctioneer of his family business Valley Auctions Ltd, is no stranger to sport, with an impressive 13-year boxing history under his belt, years of long hours at the rink for hockey and of course, his competition history in the Canadian pro rodeo circuit.

Though he may not lift the boxing gloves like he used to, Raffan still idolizes his high school boxing instructor.

“He fought 108 fights, only losing eight,” Raffan said. “He was my sports hero.”

Despite a life full of high-intensity sport, the 63-year-old cowboy admits that track and field is a new valley for him to traverse.

“I know about sports, I just never did any track,” Raffan said, adding that he hopes to use his sports smarts to his advantage in the Games. “I’m going to put all that I learned forward, and I’m going to give her my best.”

Raffan has spent the summer tuning up for the tournament, and being his first expedition in the world of track and field, he has enlisted the help of coaches and trainers.

“I’ve been getting lots of help,” Raffan said. “It’s really exciting.”

But despite his rigorous training regimen, Raffan isn’t in it for a shot at provincial games glory. His motives are far closer to home.

“I have no expectations – just going to show up and go at it,” Raffan said.

For him, the Games are an opportunity to motivate himself to stay in shape and participate in the event that is helping to put the greater Vernon area on the map.

“You have to stay in shape,” Raffan said. “I’m in lots of pain all the time and the running is really helping.”

Participating alongside Raffan in his inaugural year of competition is his mother, Margaret Raffan, who cleaned house in the 2015 55+ B.C. Games in Burnaby, bringing home six medals.

“She entered again this year and she’s 90,” Raffan said of his mother. “How many guys can say that their mom was in it (55+ B.C. Games) with them?”

And Margaret isn’t the only example, with retirees from across the province, from the Shuswap, to the Cariboo, to the Island swarming Vernon for the games.

“It shows you don’t ever get old,” Raffan said. “Anyone that’s competing in it is an inspiration for me.”

Just Posted

Complete list of B.C. Interior wildfire coverage

Up-to-date information on blazes happening the Kamloops Wildfire Centre

BX wildfire a ‘fire of note’

Blaze now 1.2 hectares

Smoky skies cause Okanagan-wide air quality issues

Central Okanagan pushed to high risk

Vernon poet shines bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Gallery Vertigo July 21

UPDATED: Suspects identified in meat thefts

Honour system fridge dishonoured, RCMP catch up with suspects

Breaking: More evacuation orders for Mount Eneas wildfire, south of Peachland

The BC Wildfire Service is battling a large wildfire alongside Highway 97 in Peachland.

Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics seeks support to complete new facility

The final project requires more costly changes to the septic system.

Campers find refuge at Penticton community centre

Campers evacuated from Okanagan Lake Provincial Park

Interior Health wants you to protect your lungs with the smoky skies

Kelowna - With wildfires comes with the risk of smoke pollution across the Interior.

Ontario, Saskatchewan premiers join together to oppose federal carbon plan

Saskatchewan is already involved in a court case over the tax

For-profit ridesharing legislation long overdue: BC Conservatives

Interim party leader Scott Anderson said the provincial government should step out of the way

Owner of fruit stand recounts ‘flames popping up everywhere’ from wildfire near Peachland

The Mount Eneas wildfire is burning at about 200 hectares south of Peachland

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

Most Read