by BARB BERGGOETZ
Staying active is a factor in healthy aging. In 1985, the Senior Games of Indiana was created to provide opportunities for people 50 and older to keep physically and mentally fit, says Na’Kia Jones, activities and programming manager for the Area 10 Agency on Aging. The agency, which puts on the event, is a nonprofit serving seniors, persons with disabilities, and caregivers in Monroe and Owen counties.
This year, the Senior Games will be held September 13 to October 10 in various Monroe County locations, including the Endwright Center, 631 Edgewood Drive, Ellettsville. Golf, table tennis, softball, basketball, horseshoes, pickleball, shuffleboard, pool, bocce ball, disc golf, and euchre are just some of the more than 40 games and activities offered during the nearly month-long event.
“There’s something for everybody to enjoy,” Jones says. “It’s competitive, but the competition is friendly, and sportsmanship is stressed.”
Dennis Pence, 69, an Ellettsville retiree, plans to participate in his fifth Senior Games this year. “I love competing and the challenge,” he says.
But the games aren’t simply about competition. “The idea is to build connections between people and to keep them active and engaged in the community,” says Area 10 health and wellness coordinator Kris Campbell, who organizes the games with help from volunteers.
Leslie Asher, 60, and her husband, Joe, first participated in the games three years ago after moving from California to Gosport. “It’s so good for seniors to feel involved and connected and do activities they thought they couldn’t do anymore,” she says. “We all have lots of fun together.”
More than 100 seniors, most from Monroe and Owen counties, but also Greene, Lawrence, and Morgan counties, participate each year. Participants, who must be 50 by September 13, compete in age and gender divisions for sports-related activities, but in open divisions for other events. The first three event finishers, and overall male and female winners, receive medals. Registration is $10 before September 6, $12 after.
Informational booklets are available at locations around the community, including Twin Lakes Recreation Center and the Monroe County YMCA. For more information, call 812-876-3383 or visit area10agency.org.