Story by Tamas Mondovics
One of the year’s most exciting local sporting events is Hillsborough County’s Annual Tampa Bay Senior Games, which will be celebrating its 37th season.
Registration for the fun and friendly competition is now open for all those who meet the requirements and interested to take part in 18-day event scheduled to take place October 2-20 throughout the Tampa Bay area.
With an estimated 650 people expected to attend, the Senior Games is a three-week long competition ranging from a baking contest, hobby show, and talent showcase on opening day to the more physically demanding activities of tennis, golf, softball, track and field, cycling, powerlifting, golf, and bowling not to mention pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in the country according to the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA).
The event has become a favorite among senior games participants, games organizers said.
Other options include horseshoes, darts, billiards, bag toss, and shuffleboard, with a total of more than 40 sports and recreational events.
Some events serve as qualifiers for the Florida Senior Games.
“It’s a lot of fun, and you don’t have to be an athlete,” said Mary MayGlass, 78, and a six-year Senior Games veteran. It’s not intimidating at all. We encourage each other.”
With socialization as a major part of the Games, participants will for the first time try a roll of the dice at a Bunco table this year.
“I’ve met a lot of nice friends,” said May who competes in darts, bowling, shuffleboard, and horseshoes, among a long list of other events. “It’s not about winning or losing; it’s about good friends and having fun.”
Registration is now open for contestants who will be at least 50 by the end of 2017. The senior games are hosted by Hillsborough County in partnership with Friends of the County Parks, City of Tampa, and City of Temple Terrace.
For more information and to register, please visit www.hcflgov.net.