Eagle's Trace Residents Enjoy Friendship and Fun at New Bocce Courts

By Jill Dutton
July 9, 2024
New bocce courts bring fitness, socialization to Eagle's Trace in West Houston.

Soon after bocce enthusiasts Jim and Katherine Beebe moved to Eagle's Trace, the Erickson Senior Living community in West Houston, Tex., in 2022, they worked with the Resident Advisory Council (RAC) to have four bocce courts created.

"With support from General Services, the council painted lines for the courts," recalls Jim. "As soon as the lines were done drying, we let our neighbors know that we had balls for many people to play."

Welcoming beginners and experts alike, the Beebes brought the sport to life at the community.

"But it really took off once the outdoor courts were installed in December 2023," he says. "Katherine and I are so glad that fellow residents and staff members saw everyone's interest and made these courts happen!"

Terrific teachers

Jim and Katherine were more than happy to teach their neighbors how to play.

"First, you throw a little white ball called a Pallino onto the court. Then, each team goes back and forth tossing colored balls--usually red and green--at the white ball, trying to get closest to the Pallino. If the green ball is closer to the white ball, the red team will either hit the green ball out of the way or try to get closer to the white ball."

The colored balls only weigh about two pounds and throws have to be underhand. Because bocce isn't as strenuous as other team sports, the game is more accessible--and social.

"Four people play with two on each team. One person throws at a time, which gives you a chance to stand and talk to the other players," says Jim. "For me, it's a great way to socialize with people outdoors. I don't mind the friendly competition either!"

Soon enough, the grass courts were buzzing with resident activity.  

"That's when we decided to make the game an 'official' activity at Eagle's Trace," says Katherine, who helped form a resident bocce group. This group was an integral part of getting the new outdoor courts up and running.  

Powerful partnership

"The bocce courts were made possible through a partnership between the resident-led bocce group, General Services, and Resident Life," says Kristen Kennedy, director of Resident Life at Eagle's Trace.

"After the group was formed," says Katherine, "we created a proposal to submit to the RAC. They loved the idea, so they handed it over to management, including General Services and Resident Life."

Kennedy adds, "Once the proposal was approved, the courts were worked into the budget and a plan was presented. Construction started sooner after."

The new courts, complete with shaded areas and benches, are located near the dog park. A ribbon cutting and inaugural tournament between residents and staff were held to celebrate the grand opening.

"They did a great job! Everyone agrees that they built very professional courts," says Jim.

Fun in the sun

Organized weekly games are well underway, but Jim and Katherine have more in store.

"We plan on hosting tournaments where bracket teams will play each other in single elimination rounds," says Katherine.

And Eagle's Trace residents aren't the only ones getting in on the fun.

"Visiting friends and family members go to the courts as well," notes Jim. "The courts are always open, so it's a great place for residents to chat with loved ones and soak up the summer sun together."  

He adds, "The bocce courts are such a nice addition to campus. From the community's walkable pathways and stunning scenery to outdoor dining spaces, there are so many ways for residents to enjoy the great outdoors."

Pursue your passion

Looking forward to celebrating three years at Eagle's Trace, Jim and Katherine are incredibly grateful for the friends and staff members who made pursuing their passion so easy.  

"The new courts illustrate the community's commitment to meeting the desires and needs of its residents," says Jim.

"Staff members are always implementing new and fun ways to enrich our lives," adds Katherine. "Eagle's Trace is an environment where you can thrive!"

To learn more about affordable, independent senior living at Eagle's Trace, request your free brochure to get the scoop on amenities, floor plans, and so much more.