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

Suspect in custody following slew of hit-and-runs

Truck stolen from Armstrong allegedly used in multiple incidents between Lake Country and Kelowna

Spring melt uncovers needles

Vernon residents upset with number of needles being found around town with spring melt

Suspicious bones draw concern at dog park

Rawhide-type bones with unidentified substance smeared on found at Vernon’s BX Ranch Park

Insurance company changes hands

Baron Insurance becomes Westland Insurance

Vernon police investigating sudden death near The Rise

Woman, 37, found unresponsive in home early on March 15; taken to hospital where she died

MP connects over coffee

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold meets with locals

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

NOCCA Review: Pianist gives highly refined concert

Acclaimed pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin performs with NOCCA in Vernon

Search and rescue help injured sledders off Owlhead

Volunteer searchers also locate two hikers near Little Shuswap Lake

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Woman struck and killed by self-driving Uber vehicle

Ride-hailing company suspends all road-testing of such vehicles in U.S. and Canada

Film Society screening shows life after fame

The Vernon Film Society presents Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool March 24

Dutch jazz duo tests repertoire at Jazz Club

The Vernon Jazz Society presents Ineke Vandoorn and Marc van Vugt March 24

Most Read