Thursday March 8, 2007
Regional event leads up to National Senior Games this summer
As part of Louisville’s preparations for hosting the 2007 National Senior Games
this summer, Mayor Jerry Abramson is encouraging citizens age 50 and over to take part in the regional “Fifty and Over Games
” from May 7 to 20.
This annual Metro Parks event for athletes from Louisville and surrounding counties includes 20 events for participants of all skills and abilities, from basketball and a triathlon to bowling, billiards and ballroom dancing.
Last year, the games had more than 750 participants, with 400 qualifying for the Kentucky Senior Games as part of the qualification process for the 2007 national games. Winners from this year’s local Fifty and Over Games will be able to participate in the 2007 Kentucky Senior Games in September, with an opportunity to qualify for the 2009 National Senior Games in San Francisco.
“In June and July, the 2007 National Senior Games will bring an expected 12,000 athletes, along with their families, to Louisville,” said Abramson. “We expect to see some local athletes who qualified for the national games using our event as a warm-up, and many others taking part to experience the same spirit of competition and camaraderie that athletes from across the nation will experience in Louisville this summer.”
The Fifty and Over Games encourage citizens to pursue lifelong fitness, which is one of the key goals of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement.
Registration for this year’s Fifty and Over Games takes place through May 1. A $20 entry fee allows participants to compete in an unlimited number of events; registration after May 1 is $25.
Participants may register on the day of an event by arriving at least an hour before the scheduled start time. Registration forms are available online at www.louisvilleky.gov/MetroParks/recreation/fiftyandovergames, and they can also be picked up at the Louisville Tennis Center (3783 Illinois Avenue in Joe Creason Park), along with 17 community centers operated by Metro Parks. Information is also available by phone at 502/456-8186.
Most events will take place at the University of Louisville’s athletic facilities, with remaining events scheduled for area parks. Rules and regulations for each competition are available online. To help participants get ready for the Fifty and Over Games, Metro Parks offers a variety of fitness programs, including exercise classes, weight rooms, walking clubs, golf lessons and more.
In addition to the competition, athletes will be able to take part in two social events – a Louisville Bats baseball game at Slugger Field on May 10, and an awards banquet for medalists on May 20.
Sponsors of the Fifty and Over Games include:
- KIPDA – the Designated Area Agency on Aging
- Dignity Memorials
Metro Parks director Mike Heitz noted that the 2007 National Senior Games is actively recruiting volunteers, and he hopes that many competitors in this year’s local games will consider volunteering this summer. “For the national games to be a success, the event will need 4,000 volunteers,” said Heitz. “Louisville has always been great at stepping up to support major sporting events in our hometown, and I’m confident we’ll reach this goal. For those who won’t get to compete in the national games, taking part as a volunteer is a great way to feel part of the action and excitement of this great event.”