The Yadkin Valley Senior Games, scheduled for May 6 through June 6, is registering participants ages 55 and older (must turn 55 by Dec. 31). Scheduled events include sports, as well as visual, literary, heritage and performing arts.
Sporting categories include 50 events such as cycling, track events, basketball, bowling, swimming, badminton, ping pong (table tennis), bocce ball, billiards, croquet, horseshoes, tennis, and more. There are 33 Silver and Heritage Arts categories, such as basket weaving, a variety of visual arts categories, needlework, pottery, knitting, quilting, several woodcarving categories, literary arts, and performing arts, among others.
For a full list of events, visit the N.C. Senior Games website at www.ncseniorgames.org and click on “Local Senior Games.”
Celena Watson, coordinator for the Yadkin Valley Senior Games, said she is very excited about the games this year.
“We have a ball with it! I have a wonderful committee and we work with all the recreation centers in Yadkin and Surry County, as well as the parks and recreation directors, Reeves Community Center, and we are very thankful to Bradley Key for help with sports management and scoring.”
Last year’s games set a record for participation with 195 registered competitors. Watson hopes to have more than 200 participants this year.
The most popular events during last year’s games were the cornhole tournament and the Silver Striders Funwalk. Watson said that the Silver Follies Show is also a popular event that focuses on performing arts, with a talent show including dancers, vocalists, instruments, comedy, drama, and even a cheerleader group on the schedule for this year.
According to Watson, most of the competitors participate “just for fun” although some are more competitively minded. “Most are there for fun, fellowship, and socialization. Families will come out to cheer them on, especially with our follies program. Grandkids come and watch their grandparents play the games. It is a wonderful experience for young and old!”
The senior games are considered “open game,” which means that anyone may register, as long as they live in North Carolina. According to Watson, 80 percent of the competitors are Surry County residents, 10 percent are from Yadkin County, and the remaining 10 percent travel from locations such as Davie, Wilkes and Forsyth.
The opening ceremony for the senior games will begin at 10 a.m. on May 6 at Fisher River Park. Watson said there will be entertainment, an honor guard, a singing of the national anthem, and lunch provided for participants who are in attendance. There also will be a special torch-lighting ceremony, in the tradition of the Olympic Games. The Silver Striders Fun walk will take place during the opening ceremony, as well as a disc golf expo.
The Yadkin Valley Senior Games is part of the statewide Senior Games. Winners in all categories advance to the state games, with winners at the state games eligible to compete in the national senior games. There are 53 sanctioned games held each year in North Carolina.
Last year, 15 local athletes and artists went to Raleigh and competed in the state senior games. David Surratt won the 5K at the state games and will participate in the national games this summer.
The registration deadline for the Yadkin Valley Senior Games is March 22 and registration forms are available at all the senior centers in Surry and Yadkin counties, Armfield Civic and Recreation Center in Pilot Mountain, the parks and recreation departments in Mount Airy and Elkin, Reeves Community Center, Pro Health Fitness Center and the Yadkin County YMCA.
The registration fee is $10 per person, which includes fees for most of the events, a tie-dye T-shirt, a goody bag, and refreshments and snacks at the events.
For more information about the Yadkin Valley Senior Games, contact Watson at by calling 401-8477 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Jessica Johnson at email@example.com or at 719-1933.