03/02/14 — Senior Games to be held in May

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Senior Games to be held in May

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 2, 2014 1:50 AM

The popular Senior Games are coming up in May and to kick off the festivities, participants have an opportunity to get registration information Friday at the Senior Health Fair.

The Health Fair will feature blood pressure and skin cancer checks, with information available on such topics as diet and exercise, and nurses on hand to answer questions. Out-of-date medication can also be dropped off that day for disposal.

Senior Games, a multi-agency yearly event, has an illustrious history both locally and in the state. North Carolina was actually a pioneer in senior programs when it became the first state to offer the games in 1986. It has been held in Goldsboro since 1995, so will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year, said Karin O'Donnell, handling publicity for this year's event.

In addition to such activities as bowling, horseshoes, swimming and shuffleboard, throughout the month of May there are also non-sport events such as photography, crocheting and sculpting.

New opportunities are added each year. Last year, corn hole was introduced and became "hugely popular," organizers said, so will return this spring. The first games drew about 75 people and over the years it has grown to last year's event, which had 314 participants age 55 and up. This year, Mrs. O'Donnell said, the state has lowered the age to 50 and they are expecting closer to 400 taking part in the 21 different events plus three categories in Silver Arts.

To take part, though, requires registering. Forms will be available at the Senior Health Fair on Friday from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Peggy Seegars Senior Center. After that date, registration forms can be picked up at the Senior Center as well as Herman Park Center and in Mount Olive at Parks and Recreation. Deadline to turn them in is April 2.

The one-time $5 fee to register includes a T-shirt, entering as many events as the person wants, plus lunch during the awards day ceremony at the end of May. There are restrictions on some events, such as the Silver Follies, with rules and guidelines provided in the registration packet.

Opening ceremonies for the Senior Games will be May 1 a 9 a.m. at the Senior Center.

Organized practices will also be held during the month of April. Some of the dates already scheduled include practices at Herman Park Center for horseshoes and shuffleboard on Tuesday mornings and Friday afternoons, and corn hole practice the first and fourth Wednesday of the month at 10 a.m.

Volunteers are also needed, Mrs. O'Donnell said.

"It takes about 100 people, to run events, be timers, manning a refreshment station or water station, judges, help with the awards luncheon, registration for each event," she said.

Jeanne Lovings is the trained Senior Games Ambassador from Wayne County and is available to speak to groups and organizations about the event.

For more information on the program or to volunteer, contact Stasia Fields at 919-739-7486.