Let The Games Begin
By Vicki Jackson
The Good Life Games, that is. About one thousand seniors are expected to participate in the month-long competition, which begins March 6, according to Walt Deal, event director. He announced, "Events range in nature from extreme physical activities to leisure activities, with something of interest to everyone."
At various local venues a virtual alphabet of two-dozen events is offered, from Archery to Table Tennis, Bocce ball to Mah Jongg. Event Secretary, Wade Barber, of Belleair, said some of the more popular games are track and field, golf, and cycling, as well as bowling and billiards. He feels, "The games are a great way to meet new friends with a competitive nature."
Any 'non-professional,' resident or non-resident, who is 50 or older as of the end of this year, is eligible to enter any number of events. The one exception is swimming, which is limited to six per person. Most events are divided into five-year increments according to age, starting with 50-54, up to 90-94, and 95 plus. A few feature ten-year age-group competitions, and include separate divisions for men and women.
All registrants will receive a unique T-shirt and a goody bag. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each age group, and the local games will culminate at the 2010 Awards Picnic on Sunday, April ll.
Director Deal explained that "Good Life Games, Inc. is a non-profit charitable organization that promotes healthy lifestyles and encourages adults 50 and over, to enhance the value and vitality of their lives through athletic and recreational competition, social events, volunteerism and other activities."
"The Good Life Games of Pinellas County is sanctioned by the State of Florida to qualify the top competitors to participate in the Florida State Senior Games held in December of each year," he added. "State winners advance to the National Senior Games held every two years in locations around the country."
The state competition will be held this year in Cape Coral, while the national competition will be in Houston in the summer of 2011.
Registration to participate has been extended to February 27th. Interested seniors are invited to visit the website www.goodlifegames.org, phone (727) 669-1361, or contact Walt at (727) 441-9463 or Wade at (727) 581-0678 for more information.
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