By CHARMAINE ENGELSMAN-ROBINS
Photos Courtesy Florida Sports Foundation
The December 2 – 10 Florida Senior Games will take place in Clearwater and whether you plan to compete in the events or to cheer for those who do, it’s time to get ready. Dig out those tennis racquets, pompoms, Speedos, and other sports stuff, and organize your car pools, tailgating gear and pot luck menus.
There are ample opportunities before the main event in December to make trial runs by attending the remaining Florida Senior Games Series which resume in September and continue through November in multiple locations around Florida.
For those new to the senior games, here’s how it works:
The games are a multi-sport program for adults 50 and over. The divisions are grouped by age in five year increments starting with the 50 – 54-year-old “kids” right on through the 90 – 94 year old seasoned athletes (who, by the way, won a load of trophies in the
2017 National Senior Games in Birmingham, Al. — see “Medal Count” nsga.com ). Some sports require qualifying while others do not; get details on the floridaseniorgames.com website.
Remaining locations and dates for qualifying events throughout Florida leading up to the Florida Senior Games in December 2017 are:
• Sept. 09 – 24 Pensacola
• Sept. 14 – 24 Palm Coast & Flagler Beaches
• Sept. 22 – 30 Gainesville
• Sept. 23 – Oct. 1 South Florida
• Oct. 02 – 07 Jacksonville
• Oct. 02 – 20 Tampa Bay
• Oct. 16 – 20 Cutler Bay
• Oct. 21 – 28 Ormond Beach
• Nov. 03 –11 Martin County
• Nov. 04 –11 Golden Age Games (Sanford)
While not all locations offer all sports, here’s the list we compiled of the statewide offerings: archery, bag toss, baking contest, ballroom dance, bocce, basketball shooting, basketball 3-on-3, billiards, bocce ball, bowling, bridge, chess, croquet, cycling, darts, disc golf, dominoes, 5k beach walk, 5k beach run, golf, hobby show, horseshoes, and judo.
Categories also include: line dance, Mahjongg, pickleball, powerlifting, race walk, road race, shuffleboard, softball, swimming, table tennis, talent show, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
If you see one listed that you really don’t want to miss, just go to
flasports.com/event_ categories/fsg-series-qualifiers/ for details on what’s featured where and when. No matter your skill level, you can participate in and experience the 2017 Florida Senior Games along with some of the best U.S. and international top senior athletes.
The Florida Sports Foundation is a proud member of the National Senior Games Association. The Florida Senior Games serve as national qualifying events in even numbered years. Thus, the 2018 Florida Senior Games will serve as a qualifier for the 2019 National Senior Games to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.