04/27/04 — Senior games begin

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Senior games begin

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 27, 2004 2:03 PM

The 10th Annual Wayne County Senior Games started Monday morning with a ceremony at The Pines of Goldsboro.

Joy Turnage, activity director at The Pines, gave the participants goodie bags that included a bottle of water and a 2004 Wayne County Senior Games T-shirt.

Jim McKay of PACC-10 TV prepared to videotape the event. "I hate to admit I'm old enough to be in it," said McKay, who hadn't signed up for any of the games. He said he's too busy doing other things.

Jodie Riddle of Greene County works for one of the sponsors of the games, the Eastern Carolina Council of Governments. The council sponsors Senior Games in its nine-county region. The Neuse Games encompass five counties: Duplin, Wayne, Greene, Onslow and Carteret.

"I like this. I get lots of T-shirts," said Ms. Riddle. "This is one of the coolest programs."

The Senior Games participants are able-bodied and living well, she said. "I guess you'd call it successful aging."

Her favorite games are badminton and croquet.

The Wayne County Senior Games this year have reportedly 120 participants and 12 sponsors. Other sponsors are Carolina Turkeys, Seymour Funeral Home, Wayne Memorial Hospital, Atlerra Sterling House, Darwin Screen Printing, The Pines, the Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department, Tar Heel Home Health, Wayne County Services on Aging, the Goldsboro News-Argus and the Goldsboro Drug Co.

John Beachem, a member of the advisory council to Goldsboro's recreation department, said he has recently turned 50, and his children think he's "ancient." He spoke of the experience the seniors have gained and the respect that is due them.

"Your experience is knowledge that should be passed on," he said, suggesting a speaker's bureau for seniors to share their experiences with younger generations.

Cierra Harris, age 8, led the pledge of allegiance. She is the daughter of Michelle Harris and the great-granddaughter of Rachel Harris, who planned to participate in shuffleboard later Monday and will participate in the 5K walk on Thursday. She is 77, and this is her first year participating in the Senior Games.

"I have to thank Michelle for that," said Rachel Harris of her daughter.

The banner carriers for the Fun Walk that followed the ceremony, Sylvia Creel and Dora Perry, have both qualified for the National Senior Games.

Today's games included horseshoes and croquet at Herman Park Center and billiards at W.A. Foster Center.

Wednesday's games include a basketball shoot at the Family Y, bowling at Boulevard Lanes, swimming and racquetball at the Y and table tennis at the W.A. Foster Center.

Thursday's games include the races, cycling, shot put, football throw and spin casting at Goldsboro Middle School, golf at the Goldsboro Municipal golf Course and bowling at Boulevard Lanes.

On Friday the Silver Arts Follies will perform at 11 a.m. in Herman Park Center, followed by an awards ceremony and dinner.