An annual tradition since 1995, the Wayne County Senior Games start Tuesday, and local seniors are ready to show off their athletic abilities across Wayne County.
Seniors will participate in events such as basketball shooting, cycling, table tennis, golf, cornhole, bocce and bowling throughout April.
The games are taking place at multiple locations throughout Wayne County, said Jordan Walker, Wayne County Senior Games coordinator.
“My former supervisor, Stasia Fields, actually started the senior games with the city, and up until 2020, she was the local games coordinator,” said Walker. “In the past few years, my new supervisor and former colleague have served the last two years, and this year, it’s on me.
“I feel like I’m set up well for it, but it’s a lot of work getting ready for it, and then it’s a month of activities.”
The senior games are for people ages 50 and older and will start with an opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the W.A. Foster Center, 1012 S. John St.
“There are two events (Tuesday), which are basketball and billiards,” Walker said. “To my knowledge, our oldest senior is 90 this year, and our youngest is 49, as they are turning 50 later this year.”
There will be comments from Councilman Bill Broadaway, and refreshments will be available. Walker said she hopes the Goldsboro High School choir will be able to perform during the opening ceremony.
“Councilman Bill Broadaway will be opening us up. Gerald Goodwin will be saying a prayer for everyone participating for health and safety,” said Walker. “Councilwoman Brandi Matthews, she will be present.
“Mayor David Ham and Councilman Bill Broadaway typically participate, but this year, they had a scheduling conflict, so they can’t participate this year, but they love to golf.”
The senior games will kick off with basketball shooting at 10 a.m. and billiards at 11 a.m., with both events at the W.A. Foster Center.
Walker, who played softball and golf at Southern Wayne High School, said she enjoys seeing Wayne County’s senior population be active and productive and hopes Wayne County residents can come out and support the seniors.
“We have a very active group of seniors that participate in both parks and rec activities, as well as at the Peggy M. Seegars Senior Center, and many of them come out for senior games,” said Walker. “I feel confident that if it could be more than once a year in Goldsboro, the seniors would love to have it.
“The public can come watch any of this and support the young at heart. It’s all free to come watch.”
A closing ceremony and banquet will take place on April 29 from noon to 2 p.m. at the W.A. Foster Center, where medals will be presented.
One hundred forty-two seniors have signed up for the games this year, and Walker said some years close to 300 seniors participated.
“It has been rumored that years ago that 300 seniors participated, and I would love to surpass those numbers. This year we only have 142 participants, which is still a few more than we had last year,” said Walker. “I would really like to grow our younger group of seniors and our artwork because you don’t have to be an athlete to do the artwork.
“I would love to get our numbers high. As big as we can get them.”
Basketball shooting, cornhole, bocce, and golf are big events for most seniors, while the SilverArts and SilverArts Follies portion of the games also get a lot of participation from seniors, said Walker.
“The Silver Arts gallery is photography, literary pieces, painted artwork,” said Walker. “It will be on display on Monday through Friday until April 28, and anyone from the public can view the artwork for free at the T.C. Coley Community Center.”
There will be first, second and third-place winners in various age groups in each sport, and every participant gets a T-shirt. The winners get medals and will go to the state games in Raleigh.
“Any senior that wins in each category, they are able to go to the state games, which are held in September in Raleigh,” said Walker.
For more information about the senior games, contact Walker at 919-739-7449 or visit www.ncseniorgames.org/wayne.
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