Mayor Tom Henry and Parks and Recreation Director Al Moll kicked off the 37th Annual Senior Games today with the ceremonial lighting of the torch at Courthouse Green. The Senior Games is open to adults 50 and older and over 400 are expected to play this year in locations all over Fort Wayne.
The cost to participate in each event is $1 for those who signed up by May 22, and $2 for each event after the early registration date. Registrations will still be accepted two business days prior to the event. Most events require little or no experience, and although some of the events are more strenuous, like pickleball or canoeing, there are many choices people of all physical abilities can participate in, such as card games, darts and billiards. More than 50 volunteers are needed to run and coordinate the Senior Games each year.
“We’re fortunate to live in a community that values seniors and provides unique program opportunities,” said Mayor Henry. “This year, the Senior Games will host events at several locations throughout Fort Wayne. This is a great way for our participants to experience all that our City has to offer. I continue to be encouraged by the positive momentum and excitement we’re experiencing as we work together to make a meaningful difference.”
The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department Community Center hosted the first annual Senior Games competition in 1979 to promote the benefits of remaining active and physically fit, and to encourage all adults over 50 to adopt a healthy, enjoyable lifestyle. Styled after the Olympics, the games offer competition in more than 30 physically and mentally challenging events such as bocce, bowling, disc golf, cornhole, softball throw, table tennis and more. Seniors can test their talent and skill, while enjoying good company and making new friends. This year, footgolf and chip-n-putt have been added to the list of activities, and from 8 am – noon today, a Health and Wellness Fair will be available in the Community Center, with several businesses providing information about various programs, services and activities.
“The low cost of either $1 or $2 per event allows everyone to participate. No other city in the country offers such low fees to enter the Senior Games,” said Director Moll. “And we must be succeeding in making The Games an enjoyable experience because I see many of the same smiling faces each year.”
Participants and individual event winners will be recognized at an awards banquet at the Community Center on Thursday, June 18 at 6 pm. Awards include door prizes and gift cards for event winners.
It’s not too late to join the fun! For more information regarding times and locations of events, please call the Community Center at 427-6460.