FLUSHING — Senior citizens from across the area will have an opportunity to participate in spirited games and competitions during the 2019 Senior Winter Games of Genesee County.
Entering its 41st year, the Senior Winter Games will take place Feb. 4 through Feb. 28, featuring over 30 sports and events spread out between multiple competition locations in the county.
Altogether, 15 local senior centers will be participating in the games, including the Flushing Area Senior Center (FASC).
“The purpose of the Senior Winter Games is to promote sportsmanship, physical and social activities among area senior citizens,” said Gary Dearing, executive director for the FASC. “It’s a great time to spend with other people that like the same things you do.”
The Senior Winter Games will kick off with an Opening Ceremony on Feb. 4 at the Davison Area Senior Center and culminate with a Closing Ceremony at the Davison Knights of Columbus Hall on Feb. 28.
During the month, senior participants will have a huge variety of sports to compete in, including competitive table tennis, volleyball, archery, softball toss and bowling. There will also be a score of recreational games and activities to choose from, such as Euchre, Karaoke, line dancing, pie eating and baking.
Most of the events will be spread out among 12 area senior centers, as well as special venues like Kettering University, Richfield Bowl and Sharky’s Sports Bar (for pool tournaments).
For its part, the FASC will host a recreational ping pong tournament on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. and games of Mexican Train dominoes on Feb. 21 at 9 a.m.
Dearing said that 574 seniors signed up last year for the 40th Annual edition of the games, with many competitors participating in at least 10 games on average. Having competed in several Senior Winter Game events himself, he said that camaraderie plays an important role in getting seniors involved.
“Everybody cheers for each other,” he said. “Everyone’s competing and trying to win, but they’re supportive.”
The games also give seniors the chance to showcase their skills and talents. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the highest finishers according to age and gender.
“Some of the events are divided by gender, such as free-throw shooting, for men and women,” Dearing said. “Then, each of those genders is split by age. For instance, an 85-year old will be competing with others 80 and older.”
To enter the Senior Winter Games, a contestant must be at least 50-years-old. There is also a $12 registration fee.
“The $12 entry fee entitles you to a t-shirt, participation in as many events as you want to enter and a catered meal at the Closing Ceremony,” Dearing said. “We wouldn’t be able to keep the price that low without our sponsors and funds from the Genesee County Senior Millage.”
Registration for the Senior Winter Games will run until Jan. 17. Entry forms and info sheets are available at each participating senior center, including the FASC.