by rick grant
We oldies-but-goldies (over 50) should know the value of exercise to stay healthy. Indeed, I’ve always believed in vigorous exercise for my entire life, especially now that I’m 67 years old. It keeps my heart muscle healthy, my blood flowing, my weight under control, and improves my quality of life. Whatever else I do to abuse my body, my daily exercise routine helps to balance the scale.
Today with the excitement of the Olympic Games still fresh in our minds, everyone is thinking about a way to showoff their athletic abilities to perhaps gain some recognition. So you think you could amass a fist full of gold metals like Michael Phelps? Well, there is an event that allows seniors to do just that. Hey, I can beat Phelps– in my dreams.
The City of Jacksonville is sponsoring the Olympic-styled Senior Games which begin on Monday, September 22nd through Sunday, September 28th at Cecil Field and other locations throughout the city. Now is the time to register for your adventure in athletics.
Whether you’re a trained athlete or a casual exerciser, the games have something for everyone over 50. Top finishers will advance to the annual Florida Senior Games State Championships and then on to the National Senior Games. This event is enjoyed as both a competition and social get-together.
Senior participants may enter in any of the 20 events, including bowling, swimming, track and field, cycling, croquet, golf, road race or walk, tennis, basketball and softball.
“This event has been going on for twenty years and every year we have enthusiastic participation. I would encourage seniors to sign up for their favorite sport. We even include bridge and Mahjong for those who would rather exercise their minds,” Mary Farrell from the City Special Events Office said.
People thinking about competing in the non-sedentary sports should be healthy and used to exercise. Some training before the games is recommended but not necessarily required. Use common sense. You know if you’re ready to compete or not. If you think that getting off the couch to go get a beer is enough exercise, it might be wise to skip the Senior Games.
Participants will be competing for gold, silver and bronze medals within their age groups. Senior Games registration forms are available through the City of Jacksonville Mayor’s Special Events for Senior Program at City Hall, 117 West Duval Street, Suite 220 or at coj.net. There is a $15 fee.
Venues for this event include Cecil Field for many events, such as swimming. Bowling will be held at Jax Lanes, tennis at Boone Park, track & field at Forrest H.S., softball at Ringhaver Park, croquet at Cypress Village, golf at Panther Creek, bridge at Westminster Ridge and social bridge and Mahjong at The James Fortuna Senior Center.
So, get that motor running and take a chance. If you don’t want to participate then go out as a spectator and enjoy the socializing at these senior events.