With April fast approaching, the 2018 Mid-Carolina Senior Games will be upon our senior citizens before much longer. With everything from individual and tournament events to the Silver Arts competition, pre-registration is open for the surrounding counties.
The Senior Games have been going strong for many years, with this year marking the 53rd year of the games in North Carolina. Events this April will be the 32nd annual Mid-Carolina games, and includes residents of Sampson, Cumberland and Harnett counties. The Sampson County Parks and Recreations teamed up with the Mid-Carolina Senior Games to offer competition and fun for active seniors of ages 50 and above.
“We here at the parks and reactions partner with the Senior games because we want to offer something good for the seniors of our community,” said Dana Hall, director of the Sampson County Parks and Recreations. “It’s all about helping to keep them active and providing competition for those who are regularly and for those just looking for fun.”
“I know some people at ages 50 might not consider themselves senior citizens. Among our more active competitors, at that age, their is always high levels of competition from the best of the best,” Hall added.
Anyone can participate in the games as long as they are 50 and up, all it requires is the registration and a small fee depending on your register date. Early bird deadlines are on Feb. 28 with the last day to register being in March on the 21. Fees are as followed by their set dates, early bird is 10 and anytime after that until March, 21 will be 15; anyone that plans to participate must be pre-registered. Registering online will cut one dollar off the fee depending on the registration date.
The games themselves include more than 20 tournament events and 18 individual events for all athletes. Everyone is allowed to sign up for any number of events they want to be in, without having to paying any additional fees. Some of the available sports include golf, swimming, basketball, shuffleboard, horseshoes and the highly anticipated track events.
“Running is one of our biggest attractions,” said Hall. “One thing people don’t know is that we host a big track run at Campbell University that includes a 5k run and all the other field events.”
Active sports are not the only kind of events that are provided by the games, the Silver Arts competition is for those who are more into the arts. The Silver Arts events include over 30 different categories ranging from visual, literary, heritage/folk art and a performing arts category. It doesn’t stop their painting, drawing, jewelry, pottery, needlework, knitting, photography, sculpture and essays are just a few more of what’s offered.
“Silver arts is all about the arts, people do things in literature like read poems, there is crocheting and water painting among many more. There is also performing arts provided like line dancing and some people even sing,” remarked Hall.
Those entering for the sake of competition will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals in their respective age categories. The medals given for each group are broken up into ages 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79 and 80 plus.
Anyone who becomes a medal winner, in any category, will qualify for the North Carolina Senior Games in the fall. Winners at the state level will be eligible for the National Senior Games held every two years and qualify for the National Senior Olympics.
“Medals are awarded for those who place first, second and third,” said Hall. “Winning at any local event lets them compete at the state level where the competition is always strong.”
The games are scheduled to start on the Wednesday of April, 11 at 9 a.m. with the Opening Ceremony at the Hercules Fitness Center on the Pope Air Force. They will stretch until April, 28 and will be spread out across various locations in Sampson, Cumberland and Harnett counties.
For information regarding the games contact Catherine Brake, of the Mid-Carolina Senior games, by calling 910-323-4191, Ext. 40 and by email at [email protected] Sampson County participants may also contact their ambassadors from Sampson County. Member include Joyce Hill, 910-214-0531; Linda Combs, 910-592-7761; Mary or Pat Jones, 910-564-4670 or Marie Faircloth at 910-596-8246.
Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.